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GREAT WAR 1861 -'65. 




(Lieut. -Colonel Seventieth Regiment N. C. T. ) 









Seventeenth Regiment, by Lieutenant. WUeon G. Lamb 1 

Eighteenth Regiment, by Jid^utant WiUianL H. McLaurin 16 

Eighteenth Regiment, by Piirale Thomas H. SuUon 65 

Nineteenth Regiment, (Second Cav.) by Captain W. A. Oraham. . . 79 
Nineteenth Rbqiment, (Second Oav. ) by Brigadier- General Wil- 
liam P. Roberts 99 

Twentieth Regiment, by Brigadier-Oeneral Thomas F. Toon Ill 

Twenty-First Regiment, by Major James F. Beall 129 

Twenty-First Regiment, by Lieutenant L. E. Powers 147 

Twenty-Second Regiment, by Adjutant Oraham Daves 161 

Twenty-Thiud Regiment, by Captain V. E. Turner and Sergeant H. 

a Wall 181 

Twenty-Fourth Regiment, by Coi-poral W. N. Rose 269 

Twenty-Fifth Regiment, by Lieutenant Oarland S. Ferguson 291 

Twenty-Sixth Regiment, by Assistant Surgeon Oeorge 0. Underwood 303 

Twenty-Seventh Regiment, by Captain James A. Graham 425 

Twenty-Eighth Regiment, by Brigadier- General J. H. Lane 465 

TwENTY-NiNTtt Regiment, by Brigadier-Oeneral Robert B. Vance.... 485 

Thirtieth Regiment, by Colonel P. M. Parker 495 

Thirty-First Regiment, by Adjutant E. K. Bryan and Sergeant E. 

H. Meadows 507 

Thirty-Second Regiment, by Private Henry A. London 521 

Thirty-Third Regiment, by Major J. A. Weston 537 

Thirty-Fourth Regiment, by Lieutenant T. D. Liattimore 581 

Thirty-Fifth Regiment, by Captain William H. 8. Burgioyn 591 

Thirty-Sixth Regiment, (Second Art. ) by Colonel William Lamb 639 

Thirty-Seventh Regiment, by Lieutenant Oclavius A. Wiggins.... 658 

Thirty-Eighth Regiment, by Lieutenant- Colonel Oeorge W. Flowers 675 

Thirty-Ninth Regiment, by Lieutenant Theo. F. Davidson 699 

Thirty-Ninth Regiment, by Lieutenant John M. Davidson 727 

Fortieth Regiment (Third Art.), by Sergeant T. C. Davis 745 

Forty-First Regiment (Third Cav.), by Sergeant Joshua B. Hill.. 767 

Forty-Second Regiment, by Major T. J. Brown 789 


1. William F. Martin, Colonel. 

2. John C. Lamb, Lieut.-Colonel, 

3. Wilson G. Lamb, ad Lieut., Co. F. 

4. Gilbert Elliott, 1st Lieut, and Adjt. 
(Builder of the "Albemarle.") 


By WILSON G. LAMB, Second Lieut. Company F. 

With the exception of two companies garrisoning Fort Bar- 
tow on Roanoke Island, the Seventeenth Regiment was cap- 
tured at Fort Hatteras on the 27th of August, 1861, by the 
United States naval and land forces, commanded respectively 
by Commodore Stringliam and General B. F. Butler. The 
Seventeenth Regiment was officered as follows: 

W. F. Maetiw, Colonel. 

Geokge W. Johnson, Lieutenant-Colonel. 

Heney a. Gilliam, Major. 

Gilbert Elliott, Adjutant. 

John S. Dancy, Quartermaster. 

L. D. Staeke, Commissary. 

Wyatt M. Beown, Surgeon. 

Fort Clark, commanded by Captain John C. Lamb, a mile 
up the beach, and Fort Hatteras, near the inlet, under the im- 
mediate command of Colonel Martin, constituted the defenses 
of Hatteras Inlet. The garrison, numbering less than 1,000 
men, was attacked by the overwhelming land and naval forces 
of the Federals, and after an heroic defense surrendered as 
prisoners of war. Shortly thereafter the enemy, under Gen- 
eral Burnside, moved upon Roanoke Island. The two com- 
panies constituting the balance of the Seventh Regiment gar- 
risoned Fort Bartow, and, under the splendid leadership of 
Captain Fearing and Lieutenant C. G. Elliott, the latter af- 
terwards the gallant and efficient Adjutant General to Gen- 
erals Martin and Kirkland, succeeded by the accurate fire of 
their guns in keeping back the Federal fleet, and only surren- 
dered after the landing of the Federal troops upon another 
part of the island, pushing back the Confederates under 

2 North Carolina Troops, 1861-65. 

Colonel Shaw, and completely flanking the fort. I am in- 
debted to Captain C. G. Elliott for an incident of this bat- 
tle which is worthy of being preserved. He writes : 

"During the bombardment of Fort Bartow a cannon shot 
cut down the flag-staff. Instantly Lieutenant Thomas H. 
Gilliam sprang upon the parapet, amid the storm of shot and 
shell, and firmly planted the beautiful silk color of the John 
Harvey Giiards which waved until the order to retire was re- 
ceived." An historical parallel to the brave act of Sergeant 
Jasper at Fort Moultrie. 

Thus the whole regiment in these two engagements be- 
came prisoners of Avar. After being exchanged, the Seventh 
Volunteers (as it was first called) was re-organized at Camp 
Mangum and became the Seventeenth Regiment N. C. T. 

The organization was as follows : 

Colonel, W. F. Martin; Lieutenant-Colonel, John C. 
Lamb; Major, Thos. H. Sharp; Adjutant, Gilbert Elliott; 
Sergeant Major, Wilson G. Lamb ; A. Q. M., John S. Dancy ; 
Commissary, L. D. Starke; Surgeon, E. K. Speed. 

Company A — Captain William Biggs. 
Company B — Captain James J. Leith. 
Company C — Captain William B. Wise. 
Company D — Captain J. M . C. Luke. 
Company E — Captain John L. Swain. 
Company F- — Captain George B. Daniel. 
Company G — Captain Thos. J. ISTorman. 
Company H — Captain Stewart L. Johnson. 
Company I — Captain A. J. M. Whitehead. 
Company K — Captain Howard Wiswall. 
Company L — Captain Lucius J. Johnson. 

The Adjutant of the regiment, Gilbert Elliott, was detailed 
and under his supervision the iron-clad ram "Albemarle," 
which contributed so largely to the capture of Plymouth, was 
constructed. Lieutenants M. A. Cotten and Wilson G. Lamb 
filled his place as Adjutant of the regiment. The Seven- 
teenth was assigned to service in Eastern North Carolina and 

Seventeenth Regiment. 3 

performed picket duty watching the enemy at New Bern, 
Washington and Plymouth. In December, 1862, a detach- 
ment from the regiment with a squadron of cavalry from 
Colonel Evans' regiment (Sixty-third North Carolina) and 
Moore's Battery, all under Lieutenant-Colonel Lamb, cap- 
tured Plymouth. Another detachment drove the enemy from 
Washington, N. C. Many minor raids and surprises of the 
enemy's outposts cleverly managed by Captain William 
Biggs, Lieutenants Hardison, Grimes, Cotten and others gave 
indication of what might be expected of the regiment when it 
should have the opportunity of displaying its fighting quali- 

In 1863 the regiment was brigaded with the Forty-second, 
Fiftieth, and Sixty-sixth Regiments, and placed under the 
command of Brigadier-General James G. Martin, and sta- 
tioned at Fort Branch, Kinston and Wilmington, and was 
thoroughly drilled and disciplined by that splendid organizer 
find disciplinarian. 

On the 2d of February, 1864, the regiment under com- 
mand of Lieutenant-Colonel Lamb with the Forty-second, 
Colonel Brown, P arris' Battery of six guns and a squadron of 
cavalry, Lieutenant-Colonel Jeffords, the whole under com- 
mand of General J. G. Martin, attacked the enemy's forts at 
Newport. After the capture of their block houses and driv- 
ing in of their outposts, the command moved upon their 
,forts and entrenchments. The Seventeenth N. C. on the 
right assailed their columns in splendid style and pouring 
over the works captured their guns and barracks. The brave 
Captain Leith of Company B, was killed. The enemy fled in 
dismay over the river and did not stop until safely under the 
guns of Fort Macon. Ten pieces of artillery, 78 prisoners 
and a large qiiantity of stores were the fruits of this victory. 
The railroad bridge was burned and the railroad occupied 
to prevent re-inforcements from Beaufort and Fort Macon 
being sent to New Bern. Owing to the failure of General 
Pickett's command to capture New Bern, General Martin's 
troops were withdrawn the next day. In reference to this 
battle I quote from the official report of the Federal General, 

4 ;N"oeth Caeolina Troops, 1861-'65. 

J. M. Palmer, commanding at ISTew Bern under date of Feb- 
ruary 7, 1864. 

"Martin performed his part well." 

The great campaign of 1864 was now about to open and 
the desperate struggle to capture the capital of the Confed- 
acy to begin. Grant crossed the Eapidan on the 4th of 
May, with his army of 140,000 men and moved overland 
upon Richmond. Butler, with 30,000 men and a large naval 
armament, ascended the James and occupied the Bermuda 
Hundreds Peninsula, threatening both Richmond and 
Petersburg. To meet this movement the Confederate forces 
operating in IvTorth Carolina with troops from South Caro- 
lina and Georgia were rapidly concentrated at Richmond and 
Petersburg and placed under General Beauregard's com- 

On the 11th of May, the Seventeenth (1,100 strong) fol- 
lowed by the Forty-second and Sixty-sixth N. C, marched 
through the streets of Petersburg with their bright bayonets 
reflecting the morning sunlight to join in the mighty struggle 
then impending. The battle of Drewry's Bluff on the 17th 
resulted in forcing Butler back upon his fortified base at Ber- 
muda hundreds. On the 20th the Confederates were or- 
dered to assault this line of entrenchments. Mai*tin's bri- 
gade was upon the extreme Confederate right, and the Seven- 
teenth, IST. C, was Martin's right regiment sO' it devolved 
upon this regiment to lead the assault. Them its thorough 
drilling and discipline proved of great value. Emerging 
from the woods into the open field with unbroken front and 
without a halt, at double quick step, its onset was not stopped- 
until the enemy's works were won and the Confederate ban- 
ner waved in triumph over Butler's stronghold. The charge 
was taken up along the line with equal gallantry and success 
and Butler's forces were driven to shelter under the pro- 
tection of their gunboats in the James and Appomattox. 
Thus the "bottling up of Butler," so graphically detailed by 
General Grant, was complete. The regiment suffered very 
heavily in this assault, losing about 175 ofiicers and men 
killed and wounded. The brave and youthful Lieiitenant- 

Seventeentpi Regiment. 5 

Colonel Lamb fell mortally wounded upon the enemy's works 
and died a few days thereafter. • 

Our fighting commissary, Captain L. D. Starke, . now of 
Norfolk, Va., is entitled to special notice, having sent his 
wagons to the rear and joined the boys in the front, and par- 
ticipated in the battle with distinguished bravery. A more 
gallant soldier never lived. 

By the death of Colonel Lamb, Major Sharp became Lieu- 
tenant-Colonel, and Captain Lucius J. Johnson, Company L, 
became Major. 

A division was created for General R. F. Hoke composed 
of the brigades of Martin, Colquitt, Hagood and Clingman 
and was ordered to report to General R. E. Lee. 

The battles of the Wilderness and Spottsylvania had been 
fought, and Grant in his turning movement had ordered 
Sheridan's cavalry, supported by Warren's Corps, to seize 
the heights at New Cold Llarbor. 

"Anderson came up on the first of June, with Kershaw's 
and Hoke's Divisions, and attacking Sheridan drove him 
back toward Old Cold Harbor, and secured the heights around 
JSTew Cold Harbor and Gaines' Mill, which he at once pro- 
ceeded to fortify." The importance and value of this suc- 
cess can only be realized when it is understood that had 
Grant's order been carried out the Federals would have occu- 
pied the ridge, and the Confederates, instead of defending, 
would have been compelled to assail them, inasmuch as it was 
the key to the Confederate Capital. The great and decisive 
battle of Cold Harbor, on 3 June, followed these prelim- 
inai'y engagements, and resulted in the bloodiest repulse 
of the Federals known in the history of the war. The Seven- 
teenth was upon the right of the line, and supported Grandy's 
(Va.) battery. In its front the enemy's dead were so thickly 
strewn that one could have walked on tlieir bodies its whole 
extent. In this battle Lieutenant M. A. Gotten and Private; 
Benjamin Andrews greatly distinguished themselves, bring- 
ing into our works the flag of a New York regiment, of Ty- 
ler's Brigade. The enemy assaulted our lines several times, 
and during the interval between the assaults, this flag was 
brought in and temporarily planted upon our works. This 

6 ISToETH Oaeolina Teoops^ 1861-'65. 

incident unquestionably misled the brave Hancock, who in 
his official report of the battle claimed that his troops had 
carried our line, "having seen through his field glasses the 
Stars and Stripes floating from the enemy's works." 

After the battle of Cold Harbor General Grant transferred 
his army to the south bank of the Appomattox and attempted 
a coup d'etat at Petersburg. 

General Lee, on the 14th, moved Hoke's Division near 
Drewry's Bluff, in order that it might be in position to act as 
reserve for his army or go to the support of General Beaure- 
gard at Petersburg. The Federals under General Smith had 
advanced to within a few miles of Petersburg and had swept 
away all our forces in their front and the city was in im- 
minent danger of capture. The brigades of Hagood and 
Colquitt had been sent forward by rail and Martin with 
Clingman was pressing forward by forced marches and ar- 
rived after midnight of the 15th and commenced to entrench. 

The Confederates now numbered about 10,000 men behind 
their hastily entrenched line. The Federal General Smith 
had been reinforced by Bumside's Corps which came up at 
noon and raised the Federal forces to 66,000. 

The morning of the 16th was spent in skirmishing and 
artillery fire. In the afternoon General Hancock, now in 
command of the Federals, assailed with all his forces and 
just at sunset broke through General Wise's lines, whose 
troops went streaming to the rear. These brave men had 
fought unceasingly for two days and were much exhausted 
and only yielded when completely overwhelmed. As many 
of the men of our division as could be spal-ed were hastily 
gathered from various points on the line and with the rem- 
nant of Wise's brigade being organized in a compact body 
were hurled upon the victorious Federals — the right wing 
of the Seventeenth joining in the attack. The Federals were 
driven out and our line re-established. Warren's Corps had 
now come up, which increased the Federal army to four corps 
— numbering 90,000 — and no reinforcements had reached 
General Beauregard from General Lee. 

The battle re-opened on the 17th, at noon. Three times 
were the Federals repulsed but as often resumed the offen- 


1. L. J. Johnson, Major 2. Geo. B Daniel, Captain, Co F 

3 William Biggs, Captain, Co. A. 

Seventeenth Regiment. 7 

sive. At dusk on the extreme right our lines "were again 
broken and partially restored by the timely arrival of Gracie's 
Brigade, the conflict raging until 11 o'clock. 

During these engagements Beauregard's engineers had 
been at work selecting a line nearer the city — shorter and 
stronger, being the line afterwards held during the siege. Af- 
ter midnight our troops were withdrawn to this new line. Our 
skirmishers being left in the old works with instructions to de- 
lay the advance of the enemy in order to gain as much time 
as possible for our troops to fortify the new line. The writer 
of this had the honor of commanding the skirmishers of his 
regiment and can testify to their brave and determined resist- 
ance, in connection with other commands, which resulted in 
keeping back the enemy until 3 o'clock p. m. of that day 

Fortunately about this time Field's and Kershaw's Divis- 
ions of General Lee's army arrived, which swelled the Con- 
federate forces to 20,000 against 90,000 of the enemy's. 

About 3 p. m. a general and final assault was given. It 
was urged with as great pertinacity and was resisted with 
equal determination as those preceding. Before dark it 
ended in a complete repulse of the Federals along the whole 
of our front. In these series of engagements the regiment 
lost many of its most valued officers and brave men. Lieu- 
tenants Perry, Hobbs, Pope and others were among the 

The writer would desire to appear not ungrateful to his 
comrade and friend. Lieutenant W. J. Hardison (now sheriff 
of Martin county) and at the risk of being personal, wishes 
to place on record the act of his brave friend, who, at the risk 
of his own life, sprang over our breastworks during the ene- 
my's last assault and bore his wounded friend in his arms to 
safety behind them. 

I am indebted to General Hagood's recent address for 
much information as to data, etc., of these battles and note 
with pleasure his closing words : "I have told the story of 
Petersburg without comment. The narrative itself is an im- 

8 NoETH Caeolina Teoops, 1861-'65. 

mortelle and a reverently lay it upon the tomb of Beaure- 
gard, the soldier." 

Foiled in his attempt to carry Petersburg by storm Gen- 
eral Grant now laid siege to the city. I cannot better de^ 
scribe the hardships endured by the brave soldiers than to 
make extracts from the recent address of Captain Elliott. 

"At the beginning of the siege, June 20th, the report of 
Martin's Brigade occupying Colquitt's salient showed 2,200 
men for duty. In September, when they were relieved, the 
total force was 700, nothing but living skeletons. Occupy- 
ing the sharp salient, the work was enfiladed on both flanks 
by direct fire and the mortar shells came incessantly down 
from above. Every man was detailed every night, either on 
guard duty or to labor with pick and spade repairing works 
knocked down during the day. There was no shelter that 
summer from sun or rain. JSTo food could be 'cooked there 
but the scanty provisions were brought in bags on the shoul- 
ders of men from the cook yard some miles distant. The 
rations consisted of one pound of pork and three pounds of 
meal consisted 'iwcbe 

meal for three days — no coffee, no sugar, no vegetables, no 
grog, no tobacco, nothing but the bread and meat. No won- 
der that the list of officers was reduced to three Captains and 
a few Lieutenants with but one staff officer, (spared through 
God's mercy) to this brigade of 700 skeletons. But every 
feeble body contained an unbroken spirit and after the Fall 
months came those who had not fallen into their graves or 
been disabled, returned to their colors and saw them wave 
in victory in their last fight at Bentonville." 

In July their beloved Brigade Commander, General Mar- 
tin, was transferred to North Carolina and General Kirkland 
became his successor. General Martin was greatly beloved 
by his soldiers. They had the most tmbounded confidence 
in his military skill and admiration for his personal bravery 
illustrated on every battlefield where they had followed him. 
In October the brigade was sent to the Kichmond front and 
participated in the minor engagements of Henrico C. H., 
Charles City Road and others, maintaining its high reputa- 
tion for bravery. 

Advices having reached General Lee of the preparation by 

Seventeenth Regiment. 9 

the Federals of a land and naval expedition for the capture 
of Fort Fisher, Hoke's division was sent to its relief. The 
Seventeenth and parts of the Forty-second and Sixty-sixth 
reginaents were the advance of the division and reached Wil- 
mington at 1 a. m. on 24 December, and, after being 
lunched at the depot by the patriotic ladies of that city, 
took up the line of march for Fort Fisher, the Seventeenth 
bivouacking there on the night of the same day. The enemy 
having edEEected a landing at Fort Gatling on the ocean 
side, the regiment was withdrawn from Fort Fisher on the 
morning of the 25th, and moving down the military road 
were ordered to attack Butler's troops. ISTorman's company 
in front, supported by the balance of the regiment, deployed 
as skirmishers, assailed the enemy. General Kirkland in his 
official report said : 

"Lieutenant-Colonel Sharp, Seventeenth N". C, pressed 
close upon and drove their skirmish line back upon, their 
main body, which was covered by the guns of at least thirty 
men of war lying broadside to the beach. Captain Norman, 
Company G, deserves special notice." 

A Lieutenant and ten men were captured. The regiment 
lost three men killed and twenty wounded in this engage- 

Before the arrival of the balance of our division, Butler 
had re-embarked his troops and thus ended the powder-ship 
fiasco and the military career of this modern Falstaff — he 
being relieved by General Grant. 

The ease with which this land and naval attack was re- 
pulsed, undoubtedly created in the mind of General Bragg 
an undue feeling of security. Not anticipating a renewal of 
the attack on Fort Fisher, unfortvinately the division was 
withdrawn to Wilmington. 

On the afternoon of 14 January, whilst the regiments 
of the division were on dress parade in Wilmington, the 
enemy had reappeared before Fort Fisher and were land- 
ing their forces, and before the division could be transported 
to Sugar Loaf, the bulk of the Federal forces had landed and, 
pushing that night across the peninsula, constructed a line 
of field works from the ocean to the Cape Fear, thus cutting 

10 ISToETH Oaeoliwa Teoops, 1861-'65. 

off all land eominuiiication between Hoke's Division and Fort 
Fisher. This line of works was held by a negro division, 
commanded by General Paine and a white brigade tinder 
General Joseph C. Abbott, who afterwards misrepresented 
North Carolina in the United States Senate. 

At 4 o'clock on the afternoon of the 15th, the skirmishers 
of Kirkland's Brigade, which was on the left of our line, 
under command of Lieutenant Lamb, were ordered to drive 
back the enemy's pickets to enable Generals Bragg and Hoke, 
to make a reconnoissance of the enemy's position. The effort 
was only partially successful, owing to several of the enemy's 
ships which were lying close to the shore, having opened a 
terrible enfilading fire upon our skirmishers so soon as they 
appeared on the open sand beach; but further to the right 
where the small undergrowth was some protection, the ene- 
my's skirmish line was driven in and their rifle-pits occu- 
pied, giving opportunity for an examination of the enemy's 
position. The writer recalls the calm and heroic bearing of 
the modest and gallant Hoke who withdrew from the recon- 
noissance with two bullet holes through his coat. For rea- 
sons satisfactory, I presume, to General Bragg, no assault 
was made, notwithstanding at this moment the enemy had 
withdrawn Abbott's Brigade and a portion of Wright's negro 
Brigade to join in the assaunlt upon Fort Fisher, which was 
then in progress. 

The troops at the time in our front were all negroes and 
did not number more than 2,500, defending a line of a mile 
in extent. That evening Fort Fisher after a most gallant de- 
fense, surrendered, and the last port of the Confederacy was 
closed forever. 

Several small engagements approaching closely to the dig- 
nity of battles followed the fall of Fisher, in all of which the 
enemy were repulsed. The rapid advance of Sherman from 
the South made the evacuation of Wilmington a mere quesr 
tion of time and on 22 February, Kirkland's Bri- 
gade, forming the rear guard of our army, marched sadly 
and leisurely through the streets of our "City by the Sea," 
and Wilmington passed under Federal control. Continuing 
our retreat up the Wilmington and Weldon Railroad, the 

Seventeenth Eegiment. 11 

army, after crossing the North Kiver, halted for the night. 
The enemy's cavalry pursued up to this point and attempted 
by sudden dash to prevent the burning of the bridge over the 
railroad. They were promptly encountered by our rear 
guard, under the brave Captain 0. G. Elliott, and were re- 
pulsed, sustaining heavy loss. The next day the march was 
resumed and without further fighting the army reached 
Groldsboro a few days thereafter. 

And now the closing scenes of the bloody drama of the 
Civil War was to be enacted upon the soil of N"orth Carolina. 
Goldsboro became the objective point of three armies. Sher- 
man with T0,000 men was advancing northward. Schofield 
with his army corps of 21,000 raised the Federal forces to 
30,000 at Wilmington ; and Cox's Division arriving at New 
Bern increased Palmer's command to 15,000. These differ- 
ent armies aggregating 115,000 men, if allowed to concen- 
trate, would make short work of the Confederate forces whose 
total, including the remnant of Hood's army, did not reach 
40,000 men. The hope of successful resistance was indeed 
forlorn and the only chance of any success was to fight these 
armies separately. 

The column under General Cox advancing from New Bern, 
was encountered near Wise's Fork on the 8th of March, by 
Hoke's Division, reinforced by the Sixty-seventh and Sixty- 
eighth North Carolina, and the Junior and Senior reserves. 
Leaving, at midnight, tlieir entrenchments along the line of 
a creek, Kirkland's, Hagood's and Colquitt's Brigades under 
the guide of Colonel Nethercut of the Sixty-sixth North Car- 
olina, (who was familiar with the country) found themselves 
at day dawn on the flank and rear of the enemy, and forming 
line of battle in echelon of brigades, Kirkland's leading, burst 
upon the surprised enemy and drove them in rapid flight to 
the rear, capturing 1,000 prisoners and 4 pieces of artillery. 
The enemy had been driven nearly a mile when Palmer's 
Division appeared upon our right flank. The Seventeenth was 
on our extreme right and its advance having thus become 
arrested immediately changed front to meet the enemy, and 
not knowing their force, boldly charged the division and 
drove back that part of it in our front, wounding their com- 

12 ISToETH Caeolina Troops, 1861-'65. 

mander, General Palmer. Finding itself overlapped right 
and left, it deployed as skirmishers with both wings reversed, 
and held its position until reinforcements were brought up 
under the personal command of General Hoke, and thus had 
the honor of preventing the flanking of our army. Later a 
congratulatory order from General Kirkland was read to the 
regiment on dress parade at Goldsboro complimenting it 
upon its splendid achievement. 

The enemy proceeded to fortify their position, and on the 
10th General Bragg sought to employ the same strategy in 
again attacking the enemy. It was contemplated by recon- 
noissance in force to develop the enemy's extreme left and 
renew our turning movement of two days before. Kirk- 
land's Brigade was assigned this duty, supported by the other 
brigades of the division. Our skirmishers were thrown out, 
supported by the brigade, and engaging the enemy's pickets, 
drove them rapidly before us. The enemy's works were de- 
veloped and, not knowing that it was intended that we should 
not assault, we rushed upon the works under the heaviest fire 
which we had ever received. Notwithstanding the brigade 
had lost one-half of its number, it reached the abatis and 
slashing and held its position until ordered to withdraw. In 
this assault the heroic Captain Elliott added another gem to 
the crown of his military fame. The gallant Lieutenant 
Grimes, distinguished in many battles, had been desperately 
wounded and became a prisoner. This is the only battle in 
which the regiment was ever repulsed, and even here it felt 
that if it had received support its colors would have been 
planted upon the enemy's works. Sherman having reached 
Averasboro it became necessary to concentrate all available 
troops in his front and Hoke's Division was withdrawn and 
sent by rail to Smithfield Depot and marched thence via 
Smithfield to Bentonville. The army of General Sherman 
was moving from Averasboro to Goldsboro, upon two roads 
running parallel and about ten miles apart. Otir division 
swelled our army to about 15,000 men, against Sherman's 70,- 
000. On tlie morning of the 19th Jefferson C. Davis' and Slo- 
cum's Corps, numbering about 35,000 men were attacked by 

Seventeenth Regiment. 13 

our troops and driven back a considerable distance, three 
guns and nine hundred prisoners falling into our hands. 

The other corps of Sherman's army came up and v^^ere 
thrown on our left flank, which had become much advanced 
in the battle of the previous day. In consequence of this 
movement it became necessary to change the position of our 
army. The brigade of Kirkland, deployed as skirmishers, 
held the enemy in check while the entire army changed front, 
and thereafter occupied a position in the centre and joined 
in the repulse of the many and furious charges of the Feder- 
als. In this battle Captain William Biggs, Company A, was 
greatly distinguished for his intrepid bravery. The brigade 
received the special commendation of General Jos. E. John- 
son for its valued services in this engagement. 

Thus closes the volume of the bloody record of the Seven- 
teenth North Carolina troops and their brave companions of 
associated commands. 

The army was withdrawn, retiring through Raleigh and 
Chapel Hill and was surrendered to General Sherman at 
Centre Church, Randolph county, at the final capitulation. 

Supplementing this record it would not be amiss to state 
that the flag of the Seventeenth North Carolina Troops 
saved at the surrender by Private Abel Thomas, of Com- 
pany A, was unfurled at the unveiling of the Confederate 
monument at Raleigh on 20 May, 1895, and beneath its 
tattered and bulletrriddled folds the veteran survivors 
marched to do honor to their dead heroic comrades. 

Wilson G. Lamb^ 
Second Lieutenant Company Y. 


26 April, 1901. 


1. John D. Barry, Colonel. 4. Win. H. McLaurin, let Lient. and Adjt 

8. E. H. Cowan, Colonel. 5. Evander N. Robeson, 1st Lieut Co K 

3. Marcus W. Buie, Captain, Co. B. 6. Alex. E. Smith, Sergeant Co P 


By WILLIAM H. McLAURIN, Adjutant. 

In the stirring times of 1860-61 North Carolina was de- 
votedly attached to the American Union. 

Her election in August, 1868, for State officers showed the 
bias of her people, and when Governor Ellis in February, 
1861, issued a call for a convention and election of delegates 
thereto, they not only voted down the convention, but elected 
a majority of delegates who were pronounced unionists, 
many of them the most trusted leaders of the State. Had 
they assembled in Convention their deliberations would have 
been on broad lines and fearless. 

Our action encouraged Virginia and Tennessee, whose con- 
ventions deliberated long and well. 

"Let us reason together" was the method of North Carolina, 
and she sent peace commissioners to Washington not to cringe 
and fawn but to use every honorable means to avoid bloody 
war. All that could be done was unavailing, and all the ave- 
nues of adjustment were closed by President Lincoln on the 
15 April, 1861, by calling for 75,000 troops to coerce the 
seceding States. 

This effectually settled all differences of opinion with us 
as to what should be done. The most ardent union men of the 
State joined the most fiery secessionist, in saying to our sis- 
ter States, "Thy people shall be my people, thy God my God," 
and right nobly did they redeem the pledge. 

On receipt of the call for troops, Virginia promptly passed 
her ordinance of secession, and Tennessee followed in a few 

The call for a convention, and election of delegates, was 
sustained with practical unanimity, . and on 20 May, 

16 North Carolina Troops. 1861-65. 

1861, North Carolina seceded. Volunteer companies had 
been formed all over the State, and, generally, waited for 
State authority for mobilization. Some companies and reg- 
iments, however, went to the front as soon as formed. 

The Legislature which met 1 May provided for ten regi- 
ments of State troops for the war, the officers appointed by the 
governor and ten regiments of Volunteers for one year, the 
officers elected by companies, and field officers elected by com- 
pany officers. 

Of the companies that assembled around Wilmington, on 
the Cape Fear defences, four from the coimty of New Hano- 
ver (three of them from Wilmington), two from Bladen, one" 
from Robeson, and one from Richmond were formed into the 
Eighth Regiment of volunteers, viz : 

Company A — Captain C. Cornehlson, Wilmington. 
Company B — Captain Robert Tait, Bladen. 
Company C — Captain Forney George, Colimibus. 
CoiEPANY D — Captain William S. Norment, Robeson. 
Company E — Captain John R. Hawes, jSTew Hanover, 
(now Pender). 

Company F — Captain Charles Malloy, Richmond. 
Company G — Captain Henry Savage, Wilmington. 
Company H — Captain I). H. Gore, Columbus. 
CoiiPANY I — Captain O. P. Meares, Wilmington. 
Company K — Captain George Tait, Bladen. 

Of these companies A, G, and I were organized companies 
many years before the war. 

Company A, "The German Volimteers," Avas the only com- 
pany in the State of distinctively foreign citizenship. Com- 
pany G, "The Wilmington Light Infantry," and Company T, 
"The Wilmington Rifle Guards," being up on tactics, fur- 
nished many officers for companies and regiments throughout 
the State, and the personnel of their officers and men were 
frequently changed. At one time Company I was composed 
of one hundred men ranging from 16 to 22 years of age, and 
only one married man among them. 

Company F, "The Scotch Boys," when mustered into ser- 

Eighteenth Regiment. 17 

(^ice had 94 ofRcers and men. Sixty of them were 6 feet to 
6 feet 4 inches high, 24 over 5 feet 10 inches, 7 over 5 feet 8 
inches, and 3 under 5 feet 8 inches, making an average height 
for the whole company of 6 feet 1% inches, believed to be un- 
precedented for so large a company, in the Confederate or 
Federal armies, if it does not challenge the armies of the 
world, for a company not especially selected. 

Nine of the above companies were moved from their sev- 
eral rendezvous to Camp Wyatt, named in honor of H. L. Wy- 
att, the first soldier killed in regular battle in the Southern 
army, on the lands of James Burriss, near the head of the 
sound (about one mile from the present site of Carolina 
Beach, a popular resort), and about 1 July elected field of- 

Major James D. Radcliff, who had been a principal of a 
military school in Wilmington for several years, and was 
then connected with the engineer department of the Cape 
Fear defences, was elected colonel. Captain 0. F. Meares, 
Company I, was elected lieutenant-colonel, and Captain 
George Tait, of Company K, who was stationed at a bat- 
tery near Federal Point lighthouse, was elected Major. 

Charles D. Myers, of Company G, was appointed Adju- 
tant; Anthony D. Cazaux, Company I, was appointed Cap- 
tain, and A. Q. M. ; Duncan McNeill, Company F, Captain 
and A. C. S. ; Dr. James A. Miller, Company G, Surgeon ; 
Dr. Charles Lesesne, Company K, Assistant Surgeon ; Dr. 
Simpson Russ, Company K, Assistant Surgeon; Rev. Colin 
Shaw, Company K, Chaplain. 

Colonel Radcliffe was an excellent drill master and disci- 
plinarian, and soon had the regiment in good shape. 

About the middle of September, Companies F and I' were 
sent to Fort Fisher, and Company K from its vicinity, was 
sent across New Inlet channel to a battery on Zeke's Island. 
A few weeks later the other seven companies joined F and I 
and engaged in laying the foundation of Fort Fisher, that 
later proved to be one of the strongholds of the Confederacy. 

Confusion arising from numbering both classes of troops 
from 1 to 10, it was decided by the State authorities to change 
the numbers of tlie volunteer regiments, enumerating them 

18 North Carolina Troops, 1861-65. 

from 11 to 20. Thus the Eighth volunteers became the 
Eighteenth ISTorth Carolina troops, and was afterwards th\is 

On 7 November, orders were received to go to the aid 
of Port Royal, S. C, and in a few hours all of our equipage 
was on the banks of the Cape Eear, at Sugar Loaf 
Landing, awaiting transportation, where, by a miscarriage 
of orders, steamer after steamer passed us by, and we re- 
mained thirty-six hours. During this time Company K, 
that was to remain on Zeke's Island, kept its water-craft busy 
crossing the inlet, and offered all sorts of inducements to any 
company to exchange places, but no proposition would be en- 
tertained by either company or any individual to remain. We 
had acquired the soldier habit of complaining that we were 
not supplied with camp necessities, but in the light of after 
experiences our baggage and kitchen equipment was simply 

It is safe to say that our nine companies had more cooking 
utensils than A. P. Hill's corps, to which we afterward be- 
longed, had at any time in 1863-64-65. 

At Wilmington we were again delayed a day, also at 
Charleston, S. C. Here we heard of the downfall of Beau- 
fort. Our disappointment was great. Enthusiastic expecta- 
tion changed to abject despair. Would the war really close 
before we got a chance at battle ? Alas ! no. ' 

We disembarked at Pocataligo, midway between Charles- 
ton and Savannah, and spent the winter at Camp Stephens, 
on Huguenin's farm, drilling and guarding the lagoons of 
the coast below the Coosahatchie, assisted by Trenholm's bat- 
tery and Colonel John C. Calhoun's regiment of cavalry, a 
part of the time under the command of Brigadier-General 
Robert E. Lee, whose headquarters were two or three miles 

The amateur talent of the regiment relieved the monotony 
of camp life with entertainments — drama, charade, bur- 
lesque. Especially enjoyable was a "Review of the Army," 
in which oiir Irish wit, Ned Stanton, "riding on an ass' colt," 
easily took rank as the burlesque reviewer of the war. 

Altogether, we spent a pleasant winter, playing soldier in 

Eighteenth Regiment. 19 

that genial clime, though greatly disappointed several timos 
by the cavalry making false alarms of the Yankees landing, 
and pillaging the coast plantations. 

Coloned Radcliffe put a stop to these alarms by sending 
Lieutenant-Colonel Meares down the coast with three com- 
panies and a week's rations. 

The first night Corporal W. H. McLaurin Avas in charge of 
the outpost at a landing near Donkey Island, which outpost 
was reached by a dam across the marsh, and a hundred yards 
or more from high land. About 10 o'clock the "yanks" be- 
gan assembling at the island. The cavalryman, who was on 
duty to act as courier, explained their tactics, and the posi- 
tion of the different landings. Splash ! Splash ! ! Splash ! ! ! 
Their oars are distinctly heard coming our way. 

Let me go for the reserve, plead the cavalryman. Wait 
till we see something was replied. There was a lull in the 
oaring, which was accounted for by him as landing a part be- 
low us, when a part would go to a landing above, and cap- 
ture all of us. This appeared to be true — the oaring began 
again, nearly all the boats taking a different channel from 
the one we wore on. 

The cavalryman started for his horse, on the mainland, ro 
go for the companies, and was so persistent that we had to 
threaten to shoot him to get him back. The men were ar- 
ranged so as to receive them, warmly, at the landing. We 
all lay flat on our corntops, taken from a nearby corn field, 
and arranged behind an embankment to keep us out of the 
mud, only one head above the bank as an outlook. The oar- 
ing again ceased. "Thes lan-lan-landing ! le-le-let me go mis- 
ter !" The reply was in equally jerky tones. "Sta-sta-stay-right 
there." A death-like silence reigned around, except that the 
loose ends of the cornstalks, from some cause, rustled like a 
cane-brake in a storm. Scared, but determined, we lay 
awaiting the landing of the raiders. A minute seemed an 
hour — the tension is at last relieved. Splash ! Splash : ! 
Splash ! ! ! A school of porpoises rose in front of our land- 
ing, and went ^merrily on their way. 

We welcomed our midnight relief, laughed heartily at the 
cavalryman and had no more alarms. 

20 North Carolina Troops, 1861-'U5. 

In March, 1862, Major George Tait resigned and 
Captain Forney George, Company C, was promoted 
Major; Lieutenant C. C. Gore became Captain of Compa- 
ny C. 

On 14 March orders came for the regiment to go to 
ISTew Bern, IST. C, and in a few hours everything was on 
the cars, and speeding for that ill-fated Athens of JSTorth 
Carolina. At Wilmington we heard of its fall. Here wo 
were joined by Captain T. J. Purdie, with Company K, froin 
Zeke's Island. The regiment proceeded to Kinston, where 
the New Bern garrison was encamped, under command of 
General L. O'B. Branch. These troops with the reinforc<i' 
ments sent them were formed into two brigades the last days 
of March, the First brigade commanded by General Robert 
Ransom and the Second by General Branch. The latter was 
composed of the Seventh, Eighteenth, Twenty-eighth, Thirty- 
third and Thirty-seventh North Carolina regiments, from 
that time to the close of the war. 

On 24 April, 1862, the regiment was reorganized, with 
almost an entire change of officers. Lieutenant-Colonel 
Robert H. Cowan, of the Third North Carolina, was elected 
Colonel. Captain Thomas J. Purdie, Company K, was 
elected Lieiitenant-Colonel and Major Forney George was re- 

Lieutenant Samuel B. Waters, of the Third North Caro- 
lina, was appointed Adjutant, Captain A. D. Cazaux remained 
as Quartermaster, ex-Captain Robert Tait was appointed A. 
C. S., Dr. James A. Miller remained Surgeon, with former 
assistants. Chaplain Colin Shaw became Chaplain to the 
Sixty-first North Carolina regiment. 

Private Thomas W. Brown, Company I, was elected Cap- 
tain of Company A, Lieutenant Wilie J. Sikes, Company B, 
elected Captain ; Lieutenant W. K. Gore was elected Captain 
of Company C ; First Sergeant M. C. Lee was elected Cap- 
tain of Company D ; Second Lieutenant Fred Thompson was 
elected Captain of Company E; Second Lieutenant Daniel 
M. McLaurin was elected Captain of Company F; Captain 
Henry Savage was re-elected Captain of Company G; Lieu- 
tenant M. A. Byrne was elected Captain of Company H ; Pri- 

Eighteenth Regiment. 21 

vate John D. Barry was elected Captain, of Company I ; Lieu- 
tenant R. M. DeVane was elected Captain of Company K. 

A few of the Lieutenants were retained in the same or ad- 
vanced to a higher grade, but generally new men were selected 
for officers. 

On 2 May the brigade broke camp and embarked for 
Virginia in sections. The Eighteenth Regiment left on 
the 7th and arrived at Richmond next day, bivouaced a 
couple of days at Howard's G-rove, then on the outskirts of 
the incorporation, now a populous section of the city, and ar- 
rived at G-ordonsville on the 10th. In a few days we marched 
towards the valley to join Stonewall Jackson. Every foot 
moved with a light and steady step and the expression of sat- 
isfaction was on the countenance of all. 

When about to cross the Blue Ridge at Massanutten Gap 
orders were received to return to Gordonsville. The next 
week the same route was gone over. A few days after our 
second return our baggage was loaded on the train and wo 
started towards Richmond. At Hanover Court House we 
again went into camp. Here Branch was reinforced with 
Colonel Hardeman, Forty-fifth Georgia, part of Latham's 
artillery and some of Robertson's regiment of cavalry. 

The sick, and the extra aaggage, were sent to Richmond, 
and on the 26th Branch marched towards the Chickahominy, 
Johnston's left camping that night between Peake's turnout 
and Slash Church. 

On the 27th Branch fought the battle of Hanover Court 
House with about 4,000 men, engaging General Porter's reg- 
ulars and Sedgwick's command of about 12,000. Colonel 
James H. Lane, with the Twenty-eighth Regiment, was sent 
back to hold the crossing at Taliaferro's Mill, where two 
companies of the Thirty-seventh were on duty. 

Porter came in between the brigade and the Twenty- 
eighth Regiment on a road leading towards Mechanicsville. 
The Eighteentli and Thirty-seventh Regiments were sent to 
Lane's relief and found Porter's pickets at Peake's, which 
they drove back upon the line of regulars at the aforemen- 
tioned road. 

Colonel Cowan was placed with the Eighteenth on the 

22 North Carolina Troops, 1861-'65. 

right of the Hanover road and Colonel Lee with the Thirty- 
seventh was sent through a wood to his right to attack Por- 
ter's flank. About this time a train arrived with the Twelfth 
North Carolina, Colonel Wade, which, with the Thirty-third, 
was placed on the left of the road, and drove back to the road 
the flankers put out by Porter. As Porter had no line be- 
yond the road these regiments had no further engagement. 

The Eighteenth Regiment made a splendid attack on Por- 
ter's front line and drove it back to the Mechanicsville road, 
where the ditch bank and wicker fence afforded fine defen(\^. 
From this cover Porter's volleys did great damage, and th'^ 
Eighteenth was compelled to move by the right flank to a 
wood some 200 yards to the right, to get some protection. 
From this wood the unequal fight was carried on. The 
Thirty-seventh was further to our right and engaged with lis 
till ordered to withdraw. 

We lost very heavily in this action, some companies losing 
50 per cent, in killed and wounded. Our first experience in 
war was a bloody baptism. "The Bloody Eighteenth" was a 
well earned title. 

General Branch, in his report, says of it : "Colonel Cowan 
with the Eighteenth made the charge most gallantly, but the 
enemy's force was much larger than had been supposed, and 
strongly posted, and the gallant Eighteenth was compelled to 
seek shelter. It continued to pour heavy volleys from the 
edge of the woods and must have done great execution. The 
steadiness with which this desperate charge was made re- 
flects the highest credit on officers and men. The Thirt;y- 
seventh found the xindergrowth so dense as to retard its pro- 
gress, but when it reached its position it po^lred a heavy and 
destructive fire upon the enemy. This combined volley from 
the Eighteenth and Thirty-seventh compelled the enemy to 
leave his battery for a time, and take shelter behind a ditcli 

After stating the positions of his forces and the purposes 
of his engagement, continuing, he says: "Finding I could 
no longer remain without being surrounded, and hearing of no 
remforceanents, and feeling assured from the firing that Lane 
had made good his retreat to Hanover Coxirt House, I deter- 

Eighteenth Regiment. 23 

mined to draw off. This, always difficult in the presence of 
a superior enemy, was rendered comparatively easy by the 
precaution I had taken not to engage my whole force. Camp- 
bell was ordered to place the Seventh across the road so as to 
receive the enemy if they should attempt to follow. Orders 
were then sent to Lee and Cowan to withdraw in order. They 
were hotly engaged when the order was received, but promptly 
withdrew. Colonel Cowan, in an especial manner, attracted 
my attention by the perfect order in which he brought out his 
regiment, notwithstanding the severe and long continued fire 
he had received from both infantry and artillery. The regi- 
ment marched to the rear without haste or confusion and 
went up the Ashland road." 

The command reached Ashland during the night, and the 
next day marched to the left of Johnson's line, inside the 
Chickahominy, near Chamberlain's. The Eighteenth guard- 
ed the crossing several days. Here an occurrence took place 
that had its influence on this and other North Carolina bri- 
gades during the war, perhaps accounting for their scant 
newspaper notoriety, in contrast with certain other com- 

When Richmond papers came into camp two of them had 
communications relative to the engagement of the Twenty- 
seventh, gingerly criticising General Branch for withdrawing 
without fighting all his force for all they were worth, vigor- 
ously protesting that that was what the troops were there for, 
etc. This was breezy. 

Greneral Branch sent his aide. Major Blount, to the edi- 
tors, and got each article, then sent for Captain , of 

the Thirty-seventh, and Lieutenant , of the Thirty- 
third, to come to headquarters. 

He received them in that open, easy manner of which he 
was master, and entertained them with such courtesy as put 
them entirely at ease. Handing each his communication he 
asked "Is that your signature for the purpose therein ex- 
pressed," with the deliberation of a clerk in chancery probat- 
ing, a paper. 

They recognized that a condition, not a theory, confronted 

24 North Carolina Troops, 18t)l-'65. 

them, sweated the great sweat of confusion and acknowl- 
edged their deeds. 

He then handed Captain the following and asked 

him to read it aloud : 


June 3rd, 1862. 
Brigadier General L. O'B. Branch, Commanding, Etc. : 

The report of your recent engagement with the enemy ft 
Slash Church has been forwarded by Major General Hill. I 
take great pleasure in expressing my approval of the manner 
in which you have discharged the duties of the position in 
which you were placed, and of the gallant manner in which 
your troops opposed a very superior force of the enemy. I 
beg you will signify to the troops of your command, which 
were engaged on that occasion, my hearty approval of their 
conduct, and hope that on future occasions they will evince a 
like heroism and patriotic devotion. 

I am very respectfully your obedient servant. 

RoBEET E. Lee. 

Through Major General A. P. Hill. 

They frankly deferred to the opinion of General Lee, as 
to the merits of Branch's actions in the engagements of the 
27th, and the pardon they asked he freely gave them. 

They returned to their commands with a changed opinion 
as to what they knew about war, fully resolved, thereafter, to 
attend to the duties that lay next to their door. , 

General Lee's letter of approval was read that evening to 
each regiment of Branch's brigade on dress parade, and there 
were two men who looked very intently at something on the 
ground in front of them during its reading. 

The story spread through camp and we had no more 
war correspondents. 

Wait till you hear from General Lee was the rule with 
the North Carolina troops, leaving to others to make reputa- 
tion by printers ink. 

Colonel Lane with the Twenty-eighth, had hard fighting to 

Eighteenth Regiment. 25 

keep from capture, and being cut off, made quite a detour to 
get into the line of the Chickahominy, taking two or three 
days. After the battle of Seven Pines, on the 31st, in which 
General Joseph E. Johnston .was severely wounded. General 
R. E. Lee was placed in command of the Army of Northern 
Virginia. Brigadier-General Ambrose Powell Hill, for gal- 
lantry in that battle, and others of the Peninsular campaign, 
was made Major-General, and six brigades assigned to his 
division, that of Branch among them. 

From Chamberlain's we were moved to Brook Church on 
the pike near Richmond, and did duty at Crenshaw, Meadow 
Bridge and telegraph road crossings. 

On 25 June the brigade moved to Crenshaws, and 
next morning crossed the Chickahominy above the Meadow 
Bridge road. Near Atlee's station, a part of the Seventh and 
Thirty-third Regiments, in driving in the enemy, had a few 
men wounded. They captured a flag and a lot of prisoners. 
This was the first blood spilled, and trophy of the gory seven 
day's fight. Branch turning their right caused the Yankees 
alarm, and A. P. Hill crossed the division at the lower roads 
with comparative ease. 

McClellan made a stand at Mechanicsville, and a brisk en- 
gagement was carried on, till night put a stop to it. The 
Eighteenth was on the left of the line, under cannonading, 
from which we lost three men. 

During the night the enemy withdrew their main forces, 
and their rear guard only was encountered next morning. 
Pursuit was made, and the enemy found at Gaines' Mill, 
or Cold Harbor, where General McClellan had concentrated 
his troops in a naturally very strong position. 

Branch's brigade was among the first in the battle and 
did good service. The Eighteenth fought on the right of a 
road, crossing a swamp, and found the enemy strongly en- 
trenched on the high bluff on the opposite side, with abatis iti 
front We charged with vigor, but did not succeed in carry- 
ing the position. Falling back into the marsh we would re- 
form and return to the charge, with like result. 

Colonel Cowan in his report of the battle, says : "Friday 
afternoon at 4 o'clock we were put in the fight at Cold Harbor. 

26 North Carolina Troops, 1861-'65. 

By your order my line of battle was formed on tlie right o£ 
the road and in this order I advanced through the dense 
woods, in which the enemy were posted. A small ravine, 
deep and boggy, compelled ug to flank still further to the 
right. By this means I became separated from the remain- 
der of the brigade, Avhich had been formed on the left, and for 
a long time was wholly without assistance in my attempts 
upon the enemy's position. Again and again was that posi- 
tion assailed, and again and again were we repulsed by vastly 
superior numbers. Regiment after regiment sent into the 
same attack, shared the same fate, and it was not until late in 
the afternoon when the continuous arrival of fresh troops 
had given xis something like an equality of forces, that any 
decided impression was made upon the enemy. His posi- 
tion was carried in that last charge which swept his whol'} 
army from the field in a perfect rout. In this fight though 
I was perfectly satisfied with the conduct of my regiment, the 
position of the enemy was such that we were exposed to 
heavy fire from the flank as well as from the front, and 
though the regiment was frequently broken, and compelled 
to fall back, yet I did not once lose command of it. The 
men re-formed with alacrity, and my commands were obeyed 
with the promptness, if not the precision of drill." 

In the last charge that we made the writer, with others, 
passed through the abatis, and got protection from the ene- 
my's fire, under the bank their breastworks were on. Though 
the regiment did not capture their strong position, as it re- 
tired we had the satisfaction of seeing the Yanks abandon 
their works — a drawn fight, as it were. 

We ascended the hill to the field in rear of their breast- 
works, and were there when Whiting's division of Jackson's 
forces, came on the field in column, the Texas brigade in 

We looked up our kinsman, Lieutenant James T. McLau- 
rin. Company B, Fourth Texas, and marched along with 
him some quarter of a mile or more, before retiirning to our 
command. The enemy appeared to have abandoned their 
works, for at least a half a mile along this swamp, as the re- 
sult of the determined attacks that had been made upon 

Eighteenth Regiment. 27 

them, and had fallen back behind a deep ravine running into 
it, where Whiting found them. Tliere was little firing any- 
where at that time. 

Soon after I left the Texas brigade, the battle was opened 
by AVhiting, and the -rattle of musketry was incessant till 
well in the night, such as was rarely heard on any battle 
field. The Confederates displayed their fighting qualities 
on all this field but to Whiting's division belongs the credit of 
the rout of ''the little giants" — mighty men of valor, not 
that his troops did it alone, but he gave them the grand 
bounce — the Texas brigade being the first to break their lines 
and with the assistance of gallant comrades McOlellan's army 
was kept moving. Night put distance between him and that 
horrible rebel yell, and he abandoned much valuable army 
supplies. The field, next day, gave abundant evidence of 
desperate fighting on both sides. Saturday was spent in 
burying the many dead upon the field, and gathering the 
trophies of battle. 

Monday evening, the 30th, the enemy was overtaken at 
Frazier's farxn and about 4 p. m., our brigade was engaged 
on the right of the road, charging the enemy's line that was 
strongly posted and well defended. Sweeping across an 
open field, the Eighteenth Kegiment charged a battery in the 
yard of a farm house, strongly supported by infantry. They 
gave us a warm reception with grape, canister, and minie, 
and were greatly aided by those on their left, who gave us a 
galling flank fire — so trying at all times — ^before becoming 
engaged with those on our right, who did not advance as 
quickly as we did. With a yell and a rush, everything was 
carried before us, and at a fearful cost in killed and wounded. 
At the woods beyond the house the regiment was re-formed 
and advanced again, with the brigade, through a strip of 
woods, and another field, routing the enemy. On Tuesday, 
1 July, we were not actively engaged at Malvern Hill — 
simply held the position assigned us, when we came 
on the field in the afternoon. We were under fire of 
the land batteries and the gunboats, a shell from the latter 
wounding a few men. The rest of the week we spent on Mc- 
Olellan's flank clearing it of straggling parties and on Sunday 

28 North Carolina Troops, 1861-65. 

bivouaced near Charles City C. H., in a thicket of old field 
pines. Here a strange accident occurred. A musket fell 
from a stack of guns and was discharged, wounding Lieuten- 
ant George W. Huggins, Company I, in the foot. He was 
asleep. It was a rude awakening, and from it he goes limp- 
ing through life. There was no one near the guns, and on 
being examined it was at half-cock, and very hot. Had the 
hammer been on the cap it would have been readily accounted 
for, by its hitting the ground. It was evidently a rare case 
of sunheat-shooting. Had any one been reasonable near it 
would have been too strong a case of circumstantial evidence 
for him to have escaped punishment. 

From Charles City C. H., we returned to near Richmond 
and remained in camp till the first week of August, when A. 
P. Hill's division reinforced Stonewall Jackson, who, in com- 
mand of two divisions, had gone to the vicinity of Orange C. 
H., to watch Pope's advance, threatening our railroad con- 
nections at G-ordonsville. Hill reached Orange on the 7th, 
and on the 8th only a few miles march was made, the weather 
being oppressively hot, and there being some misunderstand- 
ing of the order of march. 

On the evening of the 9th, was fought the battle of Cedar 
Mountain. Branch's Brigade came on the field after the bat- 
tle began, and was hastily formed on the left of the Culpep- 
per road, to support Jackson's first line, and ordered to ad- 
vance. It had gone but a little distance when it met the 
"Stonewall Brigade," that splendid body of troops that at 
First Manassas gave renown and "a name" to the idol of the 
army, fleeing in iitter rout and confusion before an exultant 
foe. Nothing daunted by the imfavorable condition of af- 
fairs Branch's "Tar Heels" met the enemy unflinchingly, and 
drove them back in great disorder. 

Of this charge General Branch in his report, says: "My 
brigade opened upon them, and quickly drove the enemy 
back from the woods into a large field. 

"Following up to the edge of the field, I came in view of 
large bodies of the enemy, and having a very fine position, I 
opened upon them, with great effect. The enemy's cavalry 
attempted to charge us in two columns, but the fire soon broke 

Eighteenth Regiment. 29 

them, and sent them fleeing across the field in every direction. 
The infantry then retreated also. Advancing into the field, 
I halted near the middle of it, in doubt which direction to 
take. Just at that moment. General Jackson came riding up 
from my rear, alone. I reported my brigade as being solid, 
and asked for orders. My men recognized him, and raised 
a terrific shout, as he rode along the line with his hat off. He 
evidently knew how to appreciate a brigade that had gone 
through a hot battle, and was then following a retreating 
enemy, without having broken its line of battle, and remained 
with me directing my movements until the pursuit ceased. 
* * * * We gained a splendid victory, and the credit 
is due to my brigade. I was among my men all during the 
fight and they were brave and cool." 

Branch's success enabled General Taliaferro, on the right 
of the road, to reform his left, that was giving away, and hold 
his ground. 

Generals Pender and Archer were forming on Branch's left 
and advanced before they were properly aligned ; success at- 
tended an advance on the whole line and the field was ours. 
Jackson started for Culpepper that night, but, after going 
two or three miles, went into camp, his scouts reporting that 
Pope hiid rec'.'ived heavy reinforceiments. 

The dead were buried and in a few days Jackson took 
position south of the Rapidan, the Eighteenth camping near 
Orange C. IT. 

On the 20th the Rapidan was again crossed, and we had a 
skirmish near Brandy Station. 

The fords of the Rappahannock were strongly guarded by 
Pope's command, Jackson forced a crossing at one of them 
and attracted their attention in that direction whilst by such 
defiles as afforded cover, he ascended the right bank to War- 
renton Springs and on the 22nd crossed over a small com- 
mand. In that engagement the Eighteenth supported a bat- 
tery on the south side and sustained but slight injury. The 
troops were v. ithdra'wn from the north side and on the morn- 
ing of the 2Cth, before day, Jackson "lit-out" with his foot- 
cavalry to go aroimd Pope. When we reached Hazel river 
we waded up that stream to keep the dust of the road from 

30 North Carolina Troops, 1861 -'65. 

betraying oar route, and crossing the Blue Eidge we got a 
few hours rest that night around Orleans. JSText day JSTew 
Salem was passed and the Blue Ridge recrossed at Thorough- 
fare Gap. That night about 1 o'clock Jackson camped in 
Pope's rear around Bristoe Station. 

On the morning of 27 August, Branch's brigade 
had a briish with cavalry and artillery near Manassas Junc- 
tion, running it back across Bull Run, captuidng . sozne 200 

The Eighteenth regiment was not in the pursuit, being 
detached after tlie fight to guard Manassas depot, and hun- 
dreds of cars loaded with supplies for Pope's army — a rich 
trophy indeed. 

Supplies were taken out, not only for Jackson's troops, but 
also for Lee's army that was following, and had, two days af- 
terward to fight its way through Thoroughfare Gap. All 
the supplies were taken that could be disposed of and the 
torch applied, about midnight, to that which could not be util- 
ized. At 1 o'clock a. m. the Eighteenth followed Jackson 
across Bull Run and in the early morn reached the fortifi- 
cations at Centreville erected in 1861. After resting a few 
hours the march was resumed, and we recrossed Bull Run at 
the Stone bridge taking position in line similar to that occu- 
pied by the Federals in 1861, at the First Manassas battle. 
We were under heavy artillery firing for some time, and 
had some casualties. The Eighteenth was again detached 
from the brigade and sent to the right to the support of a 
part of EWell's command. 

Ewell's troops repulsed the attack on them before our arri- 
val and we returned without being actively engaged. On 
the morning of the 29th we made quite a march, returning 
during the day near where we started from, too fatigued for 
the hard service that fell to our lot. We were placed on the 
left near Sudley Ford, behind the unfinished Alexandria 
and Manassas Gap Railroad and being in the second line, as 
supports, had ample action in different places without any 
protection. Branch's brigade was fought that day in sec- 
tions, and like foot-cavalry, was at all parts of the line. The 
Eighteenth was sent across the railroad to cheek a flank move- ■ 

Eighteenth Regiment. 31 

ment, then to the assistance of Gregg's brigade, that occupied 
the key to Jackson's position, where desperate fighting had to 
be done to hold it against the hosts that were hurled upon it, 
in a vain effort to rum Jackson's left. Again the Eighteenth 
was sent to A. P. Hill's right, to the support of Archer's and 
a Louisiana Brigade, which occupied a railroad cut. The 
Eighteenth fought iu-an open oak woods imniediately in their 
rear, and when an attack was repulsed, we could not charge 
and follow them. Jackson held his ground. 

It was evidently Pope's intention to overwhelm Stonewall 
and crush him before Lee could come to his assistance. . Long- 
street met vigorous resistance at Thoroughfare Gap, but 
forced his way through, and by pressing in the direction of 
Jackson's guns, arrived on his right near Groveton in time 
to give needful help. Every part of the line was held, and 
Pope's efforts frustrated. On the 30th we were to the left 
of the heavy fighting, not actively engaged, simply holding 
the place assigned us. The attacks of the enemy were re- 
pulsed, and in the afternoon an advance along the line drove 
them back on Bull Run. The Confederates were victors on 
almost the identical ground from which the Federals were 
driven pell-mell in 1861. 

During the night Pope's army crossed Bull Run, more de- 
liberately than it was crossed in 1861, but equally defeated. 

A heavy rain falling that night, pursuit was not made. 
The 31st was used in burying the dead and gathering 
the spoils of war, principally by Longstreet, as Jackson 
crossed the historic Bull Run at Sudley Ford and camped 
that night near Little River Turnpike. On 1 September 
marched along the pike towards Fairfax Court House. At 
Ox Hill the enemy was met that afternoon, advancing from 
the direction of Centreville. Branch was formed parallel to 
the pike, and advancing through a field, drove the enemy 
from a wood into a large field beyond. In the edge of this 
opening. Branch halted and held his position (which was 
apart from the brigade that advanced with him, but on a 
diverging line) though heavily assailed in front and flank. 
Our ammunition being exhausted and the ordnance wagons 
not accessible, we were ordered to hold our position at the 

32 North Gakolina Tkoops, 1861-65. 

point of the bayonet. The battle was on, during a blinding 
wind and rain-storm, and the enemy was satisfied with the 
assaults made upon us. Towards night we were withdrawn, 
and rested on the pike. On the 5th the army crossed the 
Potomac above Leesburg, Va., and camped a week on the 
Monacacy, near Frederick City, Md. Here the Eighteenth 
received a large number of raw recriiits from North Caro- 
lina, without arms or accoutrements. 

On 13 September, Jackson was off on another flank 
movement, and crossing the Potomac at Williamsport, came 
down upon Martinsburg, which, after some resistance was 
evacuated, leaving a good quantity of supplies in our hands. 

General White retreated to' Harpers Ferry, which Jackson 
attacked the evening of the 14th. Night put an end to it, 
and was taken advantage of to get into position. It was 
after midnight when Branch got in the rear on Boiivar 
Heights, and some brigades had equally as great difiiculty in 
getting into position. When the fog lifted on the 15th and 
Jackson's artillery opened from the heights, theretofore con- 
sidered inaccessible, it was not long before the white flag was 
raised and 12,000 surrendered, with a splendid equipment of 
guns, ammunition and supplies. Our raw recruits were sup- 
plied with guns. Up-to-date Springfield rifles, replaced our 
smooth-bores, and A. P. Hill's division was left to guard the 
post, parole prisoners, etc. Stonewall Jackson rejoined the 
army with the rest of his conraiand, and the heavy firing that 
could be distinctly heard proclaimed his need. On the 17th, 
Hill's light division was marched rapidly to Sharpsburg, 
crossing the Potomac at Shepherdstown, and arrived on the 
field just in time to save Lee's lines, that were giving away 
at all points on the right and centre. An half hour later 
would have been fatal. 

Branch's brigade fought about midway between Sharps- 
burg and the Antietam, in a com field running northerly from 
the creek to the town. 

The Eighteenth was left in reserve, at first, behind a ridge 
near some straw stacks, in a stubble field. The corn was visi- 
ble from these straw stacks, to the Antietam, as we approach- 
ed. About the time that Branch ordered the Eighteenth into 

Eighteenth Regiment. 33 

action he was killed near these stacks. The Eighteenth 
crossed the ridge to the left of the stacks and as we descended 
into the valley beyond, we saw the thin gray line retreucing 
from a wooded ridge, some 300 yards over the corn, into a 
valley that extended towards the town, with Burnside's victo- 
rious blue coats in vigorous pursuit. The lines met in this 
corn-covered valley, and the conflict was terrific, decisive. 
Burnside was hurled back and a rout prevented. There was 
no more fighting that evening. The Eighteenth fought 
apart from the rest of the brigade, and re-formed on the edge 
of the corn field behind a part stone, and part rail fence 
with skirmishers in the valley. About night the brigade was 
gotten together by Colonel James H. Lane, of the Twenty- 
eighth North Carolina, and formed on an extension of this 
fence, with the Eighteenth on its left, nearer the town, where 
we lay all next day roasting in a scorching September sun, or 
drenched by downpours of rain, with now and then a minie 
ball salute from the wooded ridge beyond the corn. Our 
hard march from Harper's Ferry, wading the Potomac in 
fours, our clothing saturated with water from the hips down, 
the effort to close up to the head of the column, making it an 
up-hill foot-race from the river to the battle-field, caused none 
but those of unquestioned endurance to be there to go into 

Burnside's corps was on the field all day resting. That was 
its first action, and flushed with victory, it should have swept 
us off the earth, the mere handful that we were to thciu in 
numbers. How Hill's divisioii stood before them -"xas won- 
derful, but it liad gone there to fight and was too tirotl to 
run. There was no pursuit. Nature has its limits, and we 
had reached ours, with fearful sacrifice. 

Lee with his army, matchless by equal numbers, lay on the 
field during the 18th, and was not attacked by the vastly out- 
numbering foe. During the night Lee withdrew his forces 
and crossed the Potomac into Virginia. Branch's brigade, 
commanded by Colonel Lane, covered the retreat. Repulsing 
the enemy, then falling back till pressed again, the rear was 
effectively covered. We crossed the ford below Boteler's 

34 North Carolina Troops, 1861-'65. 

mill in good order, under fire of a pursuing enemy, and went 
into camp two or three miles away. 

During the night the enemy crossed a corps, and on the 
morning of the 20th, A. P. Hill's division was sent back to 
attend to it. The heights on the Maryland side command 
the Virginia side, and were bristling with artillery. A few 
rounds showed that our artillery was not in it, and it got out 
of range, so that it was purely an infantry fight on our part. 
Hill charged with three brigades, supported by the other 
three, and drove the enemy to the river, capturing many 
prisoners. From the start the artillery had our range, accu- 
rately, and their shells plowed through the Eighteenth several 
times during the advance.. Reaching the river the Eigh- 
teenth occupied a bluff overlooking Boteler's mill dam, and 
from it, shot blue coats crossing the dam, till a detail sent 
down captured all under the bluff. 

The artillery practice became so accurate that they'd hit a 
litter carrying oft' our wounded or our canteen men, going 
across a ridge in our rear for water. We had to lie close all 
day, and withdraw after night. The enemy that got across 
the river had also to lie close in the canal all day. It was 

We camped aroiind Bunker Hill, and in October worked a 
few days on the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, beyond Mar- 
tinsburg, and left a couple of sections about Hedgersville 
and North Mountain depot in splendid disorder. Colonel 
Lane was promoted brigadier, and assigned to the com- 
mand of Branch's brigade, and remained with it during the 
war. Colonel Robert H. Cowan, of the Eighteenth Regi- 
ment, resigned, and Lieutenant-Colonel Thomas J. Purdie 
became Colonel, Major Forney George, Lieutenant-Colonel 
and Cajrtain John D. Barry, Company I, Major of the regi- 

About the middle of November the Eighteenth had an en- 
gagement with the enemy at Snicker's Gap, and the last days 
of the month, Jackson followed Tjongstreet towards Fred- 
ericksburg to meet Burnside's movements. There was an 
abundance of rain, sleet and snow during the march, and 

Eighteenth Regiment. 35 

many of the men were barefooted, as well as thinly clad, but 
they had the stuff of heroes in them. 

On 10 December we camped below Fredericksburg, near 
the Massaponax, and on the 12th went into line above 
that stream, A. P. Hill's right being at Hamilton's 
crossing and his left near Deep Run; Fields, Archer, Lane 
and Pender in the front and Gregg and Thomas in the second 
line as supports. From Hamilton's the railroad is the 
cord of the curving ridge that extends , from that place to Fred- 
ericlcsburg and runs between the foothills and the Port Royal 

Archer occupied a part of the railroad track, and to his left 
was a stretch of wooded marshland, 500 or 600 yards between 
his left and Lane's right. This gap Lane and Archer tried to 
get filled, and subsequent results showed the unwise neglect of 
their superiors in not heeding their entreaties. 

The railroad track to the left of the marshland, wliich 
Lane occupied, ran through a low place with a ridge to the 
right, some seventy-five or a hundred yards, high enough to 
shut out a view of the plain in front, from all of the brigade, 
save part of the Thirty-seventh on the right, and the Seventh 
on the left. Several pieces of artillery were on this ridge in 
front of the Seventh and of Pender on its left. 

When the fog lifted on the 13th, the artillery duel from 
the enemy, with these guns and those on the ridge in our rear, 
put lis under a heavy fire. When the enemy advanced, tliey 
were repulsed at the crest of the ridge in our front. The gap 
between Lane and Archer was discovered and in their next 
advance, a heavy force against that part of the line, forced 
back Archer's left and Lane's right, and penetrated to Gregg's 
line. Lane's right regiments held their ground tenaciously, 
each retiring only as compelled to do so. Colonel Purdie 
threw back the right wing of the Eighteenth to the woods 
some seventy-five or one hundred yards in our rear, and made 
a determined stand. Here the enemy was checked, Thomas 
coming to our assistance. 

Gregg was said to have been killed before he knew that the 
troops advancing on him were enemies. His gallant brigade 
rcovered from a temporary confusion and joined with Law- 

36 North Carolina Troops, 1861-65. 

ton and Hoke were sent to Archer's relief, and Thomas and 
Lane on its left. The whole line advanced, and drove back the 
enemy with great loss. Reaching the railroad the left of the 
Eighteenth and the Seventh, that had held their position, 
joined in the advance. The division was reformed on the 
railroad line and gotten in readiness for a night attack. At 
nightfall we took position at the crest of the rising ground 
in front and were ready at the appointed time, but Jack- 
son's desire for a night attack was overruled, and the order 
was countermanded in the nick of time. We occupied thi 
front line till about midday of the 14th, when we were sent 
back to the top of the ridge for a night's rest. 

On the 15th we were again in line, ready for any emer- 
gency. On that night, Burnside withdrew his forces to the 
north side of the Eappahannock. Jackson's corps moved 
down the Port Eoyal road to Corbin's Neck, and went into 
winter quarters. 

On 30 April camp was broken, and we marched to Fred- 
ericksburg, and next day we engaged with the enemy across 
the Orange plank road, near Chancellorsville. 

On the morning of 2 May, 1863, I was sent to recall our 
skirmishers, and follow to the left. Jackson marched by 
the left flank, going by the Iron Furnace, around Hook- 
er's army, and crossed the Orange plank road some three 
miles west of Chancellorsville. Facing east the line was 
ready to advance and no time was lost. Striking the Elev- 
enth corps in flank and rear, it was routed and driven back, 
and by sundown Jackson's troops were near Chancellorsville. 
Part of A. P. Hill's division marched in column do-wn the 
plank road and at sundown Lane was ordered to form his bri- 
gade across the road, and charge Chancellor's Hill, on which 
Hooker was massing his artillery, and forming his line, with 
troops that had not been engaged. 

Our artillery opened on them, and was replied to by the 
guns in position. A severe cannonading prevented Lane 
from forming line till our artillery was stopped and the firing 

The Eighteenth and Twenty-eighth was formed on the left 
of the road and the Seventh and Thirty-seventh on the right, 

Eighteenth Regiment. 37 

the Thirty-third was thrown forward as skirmishers, covering 
the brigade. The Eighteenth and Twenty-eighth were moved 
forward near the skirmishers (which we did not know at that 
time were in our front) , and before the Seventh and Thirty- 
seventh were brought opposite us, a Yankee officer came into 
the right regiment and asked wjiat troops it was. Waving a 
handkerchief, he claimed flag of truce rights, but was not 
allowed to go back. Lane was informed at once of the troops 
moving on his right flank and went to investigate before ad- 
vancing, though Jackson and Hill had again ordered the 
advance. ■ We had orders at first to be careful as our cavalry 
would cross at Ely's or U. S. Fords, and might come in from 
its circuit in our front. Later we had orders to shoot any- 
thing from the front. 

Whilst General Lane was investigating the situation on 
his right, which took some time, and resulted in retaining 
the ofiicer who was parleying, and the capture of his regi- 
ment — One Hundred and Twentieth Pennsylvania — Colonel 
Purdie, hearing something in our front, called me with him, 
and we went forward carefully on the edge of the road some 
50 or 60 yards, and found Captain George W. Sanderlin, of 
the Thirty-third, who gave us our first information that that 
regiment was deployed as skirmishers. We told him of our 
orders, and the complication that had arisen on the right. He 
crossed the road with us where Lieutenant-Colonel Cowan 
was and whilst talking with him Captain Joe Sanders came 
up looking for Colonel Avery to tell him of the troops moving 
on the right of his skirmish line. In a few minutes a few 
shots were fired, apparently two or three hundred yards in 
our front, to the right of the road, then extending towards 
the right of the brigade. At this juncture Colonel Purdie 
and myself started for our line, making our steps fast and 
long. Firing began along the brigade. Before we reached 
the Eighteenth it fired a terrific volley. How we escaped 
was wonderful. Horses with riders, and horses without, 
came into the line with us. 

We are friends, cease firing ! rang out, but too late. Stone- 

38 North Carolina Troops, 1861-65. 

wall Jackson and some of the staff wounded, and some two or 
three couriers killed, was the result of that volley. 

Lane's ambulance corps was in our immediate rear, and 
was called into use. A blanket was placed over General 
Jackson to keep his wounding from being known, as he was 
carried to the rear. 

I pulled the cape of his overcoat over the head of one of 
Hill's couriers, that fell about where I had last seen Colonel 
Purdie. They were about the same size and resembled each 
other very much. In the darkness I was mistaken. Purdie was 
safe and sound at the left of the regiment. About a half hour 
after the wounding of Jackson, another firing took place 
along the line, and A. P. Hill, who had gone to the front on 
foot to look for something that was left, where Jackson was 
wounded, was shot in the calf of his leg. Hill was much 
displeased, and was reproving us for firing at a noise, etc. A 
company B back-woodsman laconically remarked : "Every- 
body knows the Yankee army can't run the 'Light Division,' 
and one little general needn't try it." This sally restored 
him to normal condition and he limped down the road, stay- 
ing on the field till General J. E. B. Stewart, the chivalrous 
cavalryman, came from near Ely's ford when he turned the 
command over to him. Hill may have had a contiision from 
a bursting shell as mentioned by various writers of the inci- 
dent, but he certainly got a minie ball in his leg after Jack- 
son was wovinded. 

How Jackson and Hill, their staff and couriers got in front 
was never satisfactorily explained. Neither of them was in 
the habit, day or night, of riding or otherwise going in front 
of the skirmishers, or line, when they ordered an advance, 
and the enemy known to be at a short distance on that night 
they certainly woiild not knowingly have put themselves be- 
tween the lines at such a time. Such a body of horsemen 
could not have ridden through any part of Lane's brigade 
that night without its being known. We were never more 
on the alert, and wide awake than that night, and I don't re- 
member to have ever heard of a member of the brigade say- 
ing that he knew they had gone in our front. 

My recollection is that when Hill and Jackson came for- 

Eighteenth Regiment. 39 

ward to know why Lane did not advance and again directed 
him to do so, they went to the rear, to a large field, on the left 
of the road, where Rodes, Colston, Trimble and others were 
reforming their commands. It was more than probable that 
the delay occurring by the complication on Lane's right, 
caused them to ride forward on the mountain road, leading 
towards Chancellorsville, passing beyond Lane's left, and 
they were thus in our front, when the firing began. What- 
ever may be the true statement of how they got in that posi- 
tion, there was nothing more certain than that they came 
from our front when the firing began. 

It was generally conceded that the Eighteenth Regiment 
fired the fatal shots. None regretted the occurrence more 
than we did, and the army did not blame us for the manner 
or measure of our discharge of our duty, though others did. 

The Eighteenth and Twenty-eighth were transferred to 
the right of the brigade about 11 o'clock and repulsed an at- 
tack made upon that flank, capturing many prisoners in addi- 
tion to the regiment captured there earlier in the night. The 
skirmish lines were not far apart, and the least noise brought 
on a volley. 

With empty stomachs we slept on our arms, as best we 
could, between the firings. 

Our ears caught the rumbling of artillery wheels and the 
clatter of many axes, making us painfully aware that Clian- 
eellorsville Hill was fortified for the morrow's work. Stu- 
art gave orders that the attack be made at 4 o'clock next morn- 
ing. At early dawn Hill's division, commanded by Heth, 
was put in motion. The right of Lane being deflected was 
wheeled to the left to get in line. The first and second breast- 
works were carried before sunrise. Hill's right brigades 
found the enemy entrenched where Lane had fought them the 
night before, and had to fight into position to advance. Be- 
ing thtis detained Lane was exposed on his right, and lost 
heavily at the second breastworks. 

Colonel Purdie was killed,*and Lieutenant-Colonel George 
wounded. Major Barry had a captain left to command the 
right and a lieutenant to command the left wing of the regi- 
ment, a fearful loss, and he was the only one of thirteen regi- 

40 North Carolina Troops, 1861-65. 

mental officers present with the brigade, not killed or 
wounded. Color Bearer Richardson, of the Eighteenth, 
was wounded in the night fighting, and Prophet and Ed- 
wards were killed, successively, at the second breastworks 
next morning. 

The writer was wounded, through the upper third of left 
thigh, just as these works were carried, and got nearly ofE 
the field by using two muskets as crutches, before the enemy 
rallied and retook the works. Out of ammunition and no 
reinforcements arriving, the brigade was unable to hold its 
position, and retreated to the first line of works, where it 
remained till supplied with ammunition. The enemy rein- 
forced, and stubbornly held this strong position, repulsing 
several attacks made upon it. It was near 10 o'clock before 
Chancellor's Hill was carried, when Lee's and Stuart's line 
were joined and Hooker's army forced beyond the Planl?; road 
into the tangle of that wilderness country, from which he re- 
crossed the Eapidan. Lane's loss in this fight was 909, about 
one-third of the loss of Hill's division. 

In his book clearing up the odium that attached to the 
Eleventh corps for its disaster in this battle, Lieutenant-Colo- 
nel A. C. Hamlin, brother of Vice-President Hannibal Llam- 
lin, historian of that much abused command, says of Lane's 
brigade: "This brigade faced the Federal front in line of 
battle, and although twice exposed to the fire of forty-three 
cannon, it never faltered, nor called for help, until its flank 
and rear were threatened by Sickles about midnight. The 
history of this command under its dauntless leader, through- 
out the war, and ending at Appomattox, will always be ad- 
mired, and respected by those who believe in American man- 
hood. And the student who seeks to discover a higher degree 
of courage and hardihood among the military organizations 
of either army will look over the true records of the war for 
a long time, if not in vain. Investigation shows that the bri- 
gade was composed of young men, of the best stock the Old 
North State contained, and sent to represent it, in that bul- 
wark of secession, the Army of Northern Virginia. The rec- 
ords show that it was in all of the principal battles of the 
Army of Northern Virginia, and that its blows were severe 

Eighteenth Regiment. 41 

and its losses were frightful. In the battles around Rich- 
mond in 1862, the brigade lost 800 men, killed and wounded, 
at Chancellorsville it lost nearly 800 men killed and wounded, 
and of its thirteen field officers, all but one were struck down. 
At Gettysburg it formed the left of Longstreet's charge 
and although it had lost nearly 40 per cent, in its 
three days fighting, it marched off the field in excel- 
lent order when Pickett was routed and took position 
in support of the rebel (Confederate) batteries, which 
some of the brigades of that charge did not do. This organ- 
ization was among the last soldiers of Lee's army to re- 
cross the Potomac after both Antietam and Gettysburg. 
North Carolina furnished more men than any other State 
of the Confederacy, and lost more in action than any of its 
sister States, and the records show, or seem to show, that her 
mountaineers struck many of the hardest blows the army of 
the Potomac received from the Army of JSTorthern Virginia." 

These generous words from a foe, are true, and show that 
those who met us on the field of battle, could recognize "foe- 
men worthy of their steel." 

His figures of killed and wounded are supposed to be taken 
from the Surgeon General's Hospital report, and the differ- 
ence between that and the brigade and the regimental reports 
is accounted for by the fact that a great many slightly 
wounded men never passed through the hospitals, where a 
record was kept. 

Jackson's corps returned to its camp and after his death, it 
and Longstreet's were reorganized and three corps formed, 
under Longstreet, Ewell and A. P. Hill. When A. P. Hill 
was made Lieutenant-General, Brigadier-Generals W. D. 
Pender and Harry Heth were made Major-Generals. Colonel 
Alfred M. Scales succeeded Pender as Brigadier-General. To 
Major-General Pender's "Light Division" was assigned the 
Worth Carolina brigades of Lane and Scales, McGowan's (S. 
C.) and Thomas' (Georgia) brigades. 

Being a member of the ISTorth Carolina Legislature, Lieu- 
tenant-Colonel Forney George resigned, and Major John D. 
Barry became Colonel. Captain John W. McGill, Company 

42 North Carolina Troops, 1861-'65. 

B, was promoted Lieutenant-Colonel, and Captain Thos. J. 
Wooten, Company K, major. 

Lee put his army in motion and on 25 June crossed the 
Potomac at Shepherdstown. On 1 July the brigade 
marched from Cashtown to Gettysburg and formed on the 
left of the pike. After advancing a mile or more, it 
was transferred to the right to support Heth, and 
again advanced. The lines diverging, Lane became uncov- 
ered, and met the enemy in his own front, forcing his lines 
back towards Cemetery Heights. On the 2nd the Eighteenth 
was sent to support a battery, near the Theological college, 
and was again with the brigade in its advance in the even- 

On the 3rd Heth's division, under Brigadier-General Pet- 

tigrew and Lane's and Scales' brigades, temporarily under 
Major-General Trimble, were sent to Longstreet, who placed 
Pettigrew in front, supported by Trimble, whilst Pickett with 
two brigades in front on line with Pettigrew, was supported 
by his third brigade, and Wilcox's brigade attached to him to 
protect his flank. 

It was a high compliment to Lleth's division and Pender's 
two brigades, who had done hard service on the 1st and 2nd, 
to be selected to make the attack on the 3rd, and be pitted 
with Pickett's division that was fresh upon the field, and 
had not had a good whiff of powder since the battle of Cold 
Harbor in June, 1862. It did duty arovind Petersburg, and 
in JvTorth Carolina, and had missed the hardships of the 
Maryland campaign, and the battles of Fredericksburg and 
Chancellorsville. Thoroughly recruited and full, it was in 
fine condition for this fight. Pettigrew's brigade was simi- 
larly fortunate, as to the last year's campaign, but at the 
reorganization of the corps, was taken f roan its picnic grounds 
and put into the division of Heth, with which it had fought 
on the 1st and 2nd. (One regiment of Pettigrew's brigade, 
and one brigade of Pickett's division was left in Virginia. ) 

The first arrangement and order of battle was for Hill's 
troops to support Longstreet's Corps, in its attack, but by the 
final arrangement two of Longstreet's divisions were not put 
in and Pickett had but two brigades on the front line. 

Eighteenth Regiment. 43 

The whole of Heth's division under Pettigrew was on the 
front line, and only two brigades of Pender's under Trimble, 
to support it. When the advance was made Pickett and Pet- 
tigrew's lines diverged, Pettigrew's supports uncovered, and 
Pickett's supports also. Pickett's front brigades and supports 
became so far apart when the fighting line was reached 
that General Stannard seeing the opportunity, threw his 
command forward from the Federal lines, and cutting a part 
off, made large captures. Having about half the distance to 
go Pickett reached musketry range before Pettigrew and was 
repulsed, whilst Pettigrew was advancing. When Pettigrew 
reached the works he, like Pickett, was without support, on 
account of difference of direction of his line and support 
some diverging, some crowding, and, when his support 
(Trimble, with Lane's and Scale's brigades) passed beyond 
and reached the works it was like Pickett and Pettigrew, un- 
able to live in that maelstrom of death. 

Each command broke the enemy at some point in its front, 
and Trimble's and Pettigrew's dead and wounded were found 
in the orchard beyond the stone fence, and at the stone fence, 
the height of a man's chin, eighty yards further in their 
front than the stone fence about 21/2 feet high, in front of 
Pickett's line. 

When leaving. Lane's brigade rallied its remnant in the 
hollow by the Emmettsburg road, and marched off in order, 
the last troops to leave the field. 

This charge of the Confederates stands out in history in 
its uniqueness for boldness and gallantry and the chaplet of 
honor should encircle the brow of all the troops engaged in it. 
Those who were there and surrendered deserve credit ; those 
who were there and fought with their commands, can not be 
sufiiciently rewarded, and those who so gallantly poured out 
their life blood, a libation on their country's altar, should 
be immortalized in song and story as the highest type of 
American manhood. 

There is no disposition on the part of those engaged to de- 
tract from the merit of Pickett's men,or dim the lustre of the 
charge. As a whole the charge was brilliant — in isolated in- 
stances it was not what it ought to have been. Brocken- 

44 North Carolina Troops, 1861-65. 

brough's, Va., brigade did not come up to its usual standard, 
and the shafts of detraction were hurled at all its comrades 
under Pettigrew, on that account. 

General Gr. E. Pickett made the mistake of not going with 
his division. His presence would have been helpful, and 
might have saved his large number of prisoners. His briga- 
diers did as well as they could, but a division needs its com- 
mander to get its best result. 

The casualties of each command is the test of services, and 
Pettigrew's command welcomes the token, as the statistics of 
Gettysburg show, viz. : 

Pickett and his support lost: Killed, 266 ; wounded, 1,546 ; 
total killed and wounded, 1,812; prisoners, 1,756; grand 
total, 3,568. 

Pettigrew and his supports lost: Killed, 554; wounded, 
2,470; total killed and wounded, 3,024; prisoners, 627; 
grand total, 3,651. More than twice as many killed, nearly 
twice as many wounded and a little more than one-third as 
many prisoners. 

Pickett's heaviest loss was in Armistead's brigade of Vir- 
ginia: Killed, 84; wounded, 491; total killed and wounded, 
575 ; prisoners, 643 ; grand total, 1,218. Five regiments 
more than half prisoners. 

Pettigrew's heaviest loss was in his own brigade of ISTorth 
Carolina: Killed, 190; wounded, 915; total killed and 
wounded, 1,105 ; prisoners, 00 ; four regiments and no pris- 
oners. Killed and wounded, nearly 2 to 1. 

One regiment of this brigade, the Twenty-sixth North Car- 
olina, lost: Killed, 86 ; wounded, 502 ; killed and wounded, 
588 ; prisoners, 00 ; grand total, 588 ; or 13 more killed 
and wounded than Armistead's brigade. 

Nearly half of Pickett's loss was prisoners, whilst Petti- 
grew lost but one-sixth in prisoners, viz : Archer, 517 ; 
Scales, 110; total, 627. 

These figures, obtained from volume 26, part 2, pages 339, 
343, 4, 5, Official Eecords Union and Confederate Armies, 
show that Pickett's charge did not fail because he was 
not supported by Pettigrew, and that Pettigrew really did the 
fighting of the day. 

Eighteenth Regiment. 45 

North Carolinians were satisfied with doing their duty and 
"We envy not others their merited glory." 

Lee withdrew from the field on the night of the 4th and re- 
mained at Hagerstown a week. On the 13th crossed the Po- 
tomac at Falling Waters where Lane acted as rear guard. 
The Eighteenth and part of the Twenty-eighth were deployed 
as skirmishers and those of the Twenty-eighth were the last 
to cross. A week was spent in camp near Culpepper Court 
House, when the army returned to the line of the E,apidan, 
the Eighteenth camping near Orange Court House. 

After the death of Major-General Pender from wounds at 
Gettysburg, Brigadier-General Cadmus M. Wilcox was pro- 
moted, and assigned to his command. On 22 September 
the Eighteenth marched with the command and was 
at a skirmish at Jack's Shop, near Madison Court House, 
and, after that, camped at Liberty Mills, the left of the army. 
On the 9 th the army advanced, Hill marching by Madison 
Court House and Warrenton to Bristoe Station where Heth 
had a fight with the enemy. Cooke's and Kirkland's North 
Carolina brigades were sent against a strong position on the 
railroad, and gallantly went into a slaughter pen. Before 
reinforcements could go to their assistance they were deci- 
mated. Wilcox was under shelling from the enemy's artil- 
lery with slight casualties. We again had a job on the rail- 
road, and destroyed it to the Rappahannock, and camped a 
week on its south side. 

After leaving Brandy Station on the 8th the Yankee cav- 
alry pursued in force. We laid an ambush for them near 
Culpepper, using one of the North Carolina companies of 
the Eleventh Virginia cavalry as decoys. It played its part 
well, fighting better than cavalry was expected to, and nearly 
succeeded in drawing a regiment of blue-coat cavalry into a 
field, where, covered by some woods, the Eighteenth was 
placed to get in their rear. The trap was discovered in time 
to escape with a lot of empty saddles, and a loss to the Eigh- 
teenth of one killed and a half dozen wounded. 

The Eighteenth returned to Liberty Mills, and built com- 
fortable winter quarters. On 28 November marched to 
Mine Run, where Meade had crossed. We lay in line of bat- 

46 North Carolina Troops, 1861 -'65. 

tie, and built breastworks, but were not engaged, more than 
on the skirmish line. The weather was fearfully cold, and the 
pickets were relieved every two hours, as they could not stay 
longer without fire. The skirmish lines were not far apart, 
and exposure was dangerous. In a thicket of old field pines, 
between the lines, a flock of wild turkeys lit down. A fine, 
large gobbler lost his life there by this rashness, and lay in 
full view of both picket lines. Disregarding the danger, 
each side determined to capture that turkey, and several men 
were gobblerized during the day. After sun down George W. 
Corbett in charge of the Eighteenth skirmishers, played tac- 
tics to bring him in. Picking a man to help him, they ap- 
proached in different directions, and succeeded in bagging the 
game, as well as in getting a new overcoat and blanket off of 
an equally venturesome, but less successful blue-coater that 
lay near by. The pot boiled that night. A. P. Hill's division 
was massed Tuesday night, 1 December, to attack next morn- 
ing, but during the night Meade recrossed the river. We 
gladly returned to our winter quarters at Liberty Mills and 
spent the winter there. 

Who that saw it, will ever forget the snow-ball battle that 
started in fun, and spread from regiment to brigade, then 
division and corps, till the line from Liberty Mill to Orange 
Court House was engaged in the exhiliarating sport ? 

Some disgruntled spirit, at last, threw a rock in his snow- 
ball and brought blood. This dastardly act was promptly re- 
sented, and went to such an extent that the men rushed for 
their arms, and it took the best efforts of the officers and 
level-headed men for a while to prevent the rebel yell, and 
snow-ball from being followed by real powder and ball. 

During the winter Grovernor Vance made a tour of the army 
in his candidacy for re-election as governor of North Caro- 
lina. He received an ovation wherever he went and captured 
the army in toto. 

General Grant's successes in the western army made him 
commander of the armies of the United States in the field. 
During the winter he came east, and personally assumed com- 
mand of the army of the Potomac. Most favorably situated, 
and with carte-blanche he supplied his command with every- 

Eighteenth Regiment. 47 

tiling he wanted. It was a spectacle worth beholding, and 
calculated to swell the bosom of any man with pride, to look 
upon the one hundred and forty thousand men, with which 
he crossed the Rapidan, 4 May, 1864, as splendidly equipped 
a body of men as ever trod the face of the earth. Well might 
he have said : 

"Behold them, in their glory, 
You will soon read our story, 
On to Richmond ! ! !" 

General Lee had sixty thousand men scantily supplied with 
everything, save grit, with which to meet this mighty host. 

The disparity of numbers, and condition was appalling, 
but the ragged Confederates did not faint or falter. 

On the evening of the 5th Heth and Pender's divisions of 
Hill's corps, some 5,000 men, engaged Birney's, Mott's, Gib- 
bon's and Barlow's divisions, Hancock's corps, with Getty's 
division of the Sixth corps, say 40,000 men, and did good 

The Eighteenth was sent to the front and on the right of 
the Orange plank road, near a mile from it, found the 
Thirty-eighth North Carolina hotly engaged with Hancock's 
troops. Colonel Barry and Lieutenant-Colonel Ashford 
fought their regiments, as emergency required, in various 
positions, till nightfall, when I was sent back to report their 
condition and get instructions. Shifting position so often 
during the evening I had lost my bearings, and in the dark- 
ness got into Hancock's corps and had to tack variously to 
get out. About 11 o'clock I got into Wilcox's troops, on a 
straight run down the planl?; road. Before I stopped my 
run, I recognized General Wilcox's white horse, and going to 
him fotmd Wilcox. Out of wind, and gasping between 
words, I told him that I was just out of Hancock's corps, and 
that there was not a man between him and Hancock's skir- 
mishers. He evidently did not believe a word of it, and was 
not over polite in letting me know it. I found where my 
command was and went to it. General Lane, Colonels Barry, 
Avery and others believed my statement, and went to Wilcox 

48 North Carolina Troops, l861-'65. 

to get a picket line established in front. He assured them 
that there was a division in his front, and told them not to 
disturb the men, let them rest till morning. The regiments 
bivouacked without regard to alignment, as they assembled 
from the different parts of the field, on which they had 

In the morning Colonel Avery had gotten part of the 
Thirty-third in line, when Hancock's corps and Sedwick's 
division struck us, and fought them like tigers. The tempor- 
ary check made where they were, gave little time for the bri- 
gade that was forming to get together, and Wilcox was caught 
all out of joint all along his line. Though we had little or no 
alignment, the regiments and squads fell back fighting as 
best they could. About a quarter of a mile from where Han- 
cock flushed us, we were fired into by the division that Wil- 
cox thought was in his front the night before and it retreated 
without waiting to let us pass by it. 

There were fifty or seventy-five in the squad that I fell 
back with, a part from the plank road (the most of the bri- 
gade were near it). About a half mile back we were cov- 
ered by the right of the Texas brigade, as it advanced, the 
first of Longstreet's troops that got into action. Our squad 
composed of men from all of Lanes regiments, joined the 
Fourth Texas under Captain Jas. T. McLaurin, Company B, 
and went with it in the charge that drove Hancock back to 
the position of the morning near the Brock road. 

It was near midday when we rejoined our command in the 
left of the Plank road, where it had assembled after the morn- 
ing's experience. Though caught at a disadvantage the men 
fought well, as the casualties show, and delayed their assail- 
ant's advance. 

Ewell did splendid fighting that afternoon on the left of 
the army and drove the Federal right some distance. About 
9 o'clock that night the rebel yell was set up on the right and 
extended to the left of the army. 

The volume and duration of sound exceeded anything that 
we had then heard or have heard since. Prisoners taken 
afterwards reported great demoralization from it in Warren's 
and Sed-wick's corps. General Horace Porter in his "Cam- 


paign With Grant," gives a graphic account of the attack on 
these commands after dark, and of the battle says : "All cir- 
cumstances seemed to combine to make the scene one of un- 
utterable horror. At times the wind howled through the tree 
tops, mingling its moan with the groans of the dying, and 
heavy branches were cut off by the fire of the artillery and 
fell crashing upon the heads of the men, adding a new terror 
to battle. 

"Forest fires raged, ammunition trains exploded, the dead 
were roasted in the conflagration, the wounded, roused by its 
hot breath, dragged themselves along with their torn and 
mangled limbs, in the mad energy of despair, to escape the 
ravages of the flame, and every bush seemed hung with shreds 
of blood-stained clothing. It was as though Christian men 
had turned to fiends, and hell itself had usurped the place of 

We Avere direct opposites at that time in action and prin- 
ciples. I'm not inclined to combat his sentiment. Sheol 
was not far off that day. 

On the 8th left the Wilderness and had a little skirmish- 
ing near the Po. On the 10th arrived at Spottsylvania 
Court House and on that and the following day built breast- 
works on different parts of the line, being moved several 
times. Our lines being nearly at right angles to Ewell's 
corps, we built traverses to protect ourselves from shots in 
that direction. 

Late in the evening of the 11th, Lane's brigade, which was 
the left of A. P. Hill's corps, was thrown forward to the 
front and left to connect with Ewell's line. Our left regi- 
ments, Twenty-eighth and Eighteenth, were beyond a branch 
and thrown forward, at an obt\ise angle to the rest of the 
brigade, to connect with Stewart's brigade of General Edward 
Johnson's division, that was thrown back in a curve from 
that division to connect with the Twenty-eighth, forming a 
salient, knoAvn as the Horseshoe angle. 

During the night our artillery was withdrawn from John- 
son's line, and Hancock's and Burnside's corps were massed 
at the salient, with orders to attack it at 4 o'clock. The artil- 

50 North Caromna Troops, 1861-65. 

lery was returning to Johnson's line, but had not gotten in 
position when Hancock attacked at daylight. Edward John- 
son's left and Eobert D. Johnson's brigade that were sup- 
porting it, were swept away. That let Hancock into 
Stewart's rear, and the rear of the Twenty-eighth and Eigh- 
teenth who were engaged with those to the right of the 

The artillery and Stewart's brigade were captured. When 
the Twenty-eighth and Eighteenth found that Hancock was 
in their immediate rear, it was too late to escape and about 
one-third of the Twenty-eighth and near half of the Eigh- 
teenth were made prisoners. Of those who escaped, the 
writer, adjutant of the Eighteenth North Carolina, ral- 
lied a handful at the left of the breastworks of the previous 
day and recklessly dashing into Hancock's host that poured 
into the woods, through Johnson's opening, produced a panic, 
that adding to its own demoralization, drove his serried num- 
bers back beyond the branch, stampeding even the guards in 
charge of the prisoners. Some of the Eighteenth's prisoners 
taking advantage of the stampede, escaped and rejoined the 
regiment. J. C. Kinlaw, of Company K, in a subsequent 
charge, recovered his knapsack and accoutrements, of which 
he had been stripped preparatory to being carried to the rear. 
This stampede gave time for the Thirty-seventh, Seventh and 
Thirty-third to be formed on the crest south of the branch, 
and the remnant of the Eighteenth and Twenty-eighth re- 
formed on their left where Lane repulsed Hancock's next ad- 
vance, and saved the right of the army. Scales' North Caro- 
lina brigade coming to his assistance, another attack was 

After this Gordon, in command of Early's division, joined 
our left, and by hard fighting the line was advanced and held 
near the apex of the angle. On the left of the angle Daniel's 
North Carolina brigade stopped the break of Ewell's line and 
Eamseur's North Carolina brigade taken from Daniel's left, 
retook the line to Daniel's right. Colonel R. T. Bennett's 
Fourteenth North Carolina Regiment was taken from Ram- 
seur's left and gallantly extended Ramseur's right. Harris' 
Mississippi brigade unfalteringly extended Bennett's right, 

Eighteenth Regiment. 51 

McGowan's South Carolina brigade was sent from Hill's 
front near the court house to extend Harris' line, and partly 
lapped upon it. McGowan was wounded before getting to the 

Harris' and McGowan's brigades fought Hancock and his 
reinforcements over the breastwork all day, snatching the 
muskets from each other across the works. There was an 
oak woods to their rear, and an oak tree twenty inches in 
diameter was so riddled with minie - balls, several feet 
from the ground, that its top-weight wrung it down. I saw 
the tree next day and the many dead, on each side of the 
breastworks were silent witnesses of the fighting qualities 
of both armies. (The two sections, above and below of this 
or a similar tree, were cut off and after the war were on exhi- 
bition at the War Department in Washington where I saw 
them in 1866. Ed.) 

During the day a white flag appeared on the breastworlis, 
firing ceased, and each side began jumping over claiming the 
others as prisoners. The matter was settled by the blue-coats 
and Johnnies getting back on their own side and the fight be- 
gan again. A new line was built across the angle from 
Daniel's to Lane's, and word passed down the line to Harris' 
and McGowan's men to fall back to it. After night the 
firing slackened and about midnight ceased; both sides had 
quietly gone away and the fought-over works were abandoned 
by both sides. 

Lane's brigade was taken off the line to the right of the 
angle, carried into some woods to the left of the court house 
and got a few hours rest in the middle of the day. In the 
afternoon it was taken by Major-General Mahone with 
his old brigade. Colonel Weisiger, to feel a force which 
was assembling to the right of the salient, behind 
the branch above mentioned. Though Weisiger had 
not been engaged that day and Lane had been fighting all the 
morning. Lane's small brigade was put in front to attack and 
Weisiger to support. When Lane advanced, Mahone rode 
back to the court house. Lane's attack was successful, though 
Weisiger did not support him and when sent for did not 
come. Lane turned the captured battery upon the enemy, 

52 North Cabolina Troops, 1861-65. 

but had to abandon it or be captured. He, however, carried 
back four or five hundred prisoners and several flags. 

The Eighteenth captured the flag of the artillery. 

When we got back to the lines, near the court house, Ma- 
hone rode out and claimed the flags, which were refused him. 
He afterwards had a correspondence through army headquar- 
ters concerning them, which was "held up" on account of 
"unparliamentary language" that got into it. General Lee 
and the Secretary of War acknowledged receipt of the flags 
from Lane's brigade, a feAV days after the battle. 

The Kichmond papers teemed with accounts of Mahone's 
magnificent achievements in the afternoon and accredited to 
other Virginia commands the honor of stopping the break 
in the lines of the morning. 

Pertinent to this, though personal, the following extract 
from the narrative of a Michigan colonel is inserted here. 
After stating how his company was captured and recaptured 
at Chancellorsville, 3 May, 1863, and for supposed gal- 
lantry, he was promoted major, which he protested, continu- 
ing, says: 

"As nothing else would do, I was, in a manner, forced to 
accept this promotion and in a few days was commissioned 
lieutenant-colonel 'for gallantry and meritorious cond^ict in 
the presence of the enemy.' In the following winter I was 
appointed to the colonelcy of a 'crack' regiment. I would 
not be speaking the truth if I should say that these promo- 
tions did not touch my vanity and make me zealous, not only 
to maintain but to acquire more of the 'bubble reputation at 
the cannon's mouth.' 

"It was with an assumed feeling of arrogance and con- 
tempt of danger that I led my regiment to the attack on Lee's 
salient 12 May, 1864, at Spottsylvania Court House. 
By the crack of dawn on that morning, before the 
Johnnies were fully awake, we were right in among them in 
a hand to hand encounter, capturing a great number of pris- 
oners and quickly had possession of all, or nearly all of both 
wings of this famous salient, the breastworks of which faced 
to the front and rear. We had Lee's army now practically 
cut in two, an advantage which, if it had been followed up 

Eighteenth Regiment. 53 

promptly, would, as I have thought, have had the effect of 
terminating the war at a much earlier date. While we were 
engaged in arranging to hold our newly acquired position in 
the captured Confederate works, and in reforming the troops 
for a further advance, an attack was made on our flank and 
rear, which by its suddenness and vigor struck panic to the 
troops between the position held by my regiment and the at- 
tacking party, which sent them pouring pell mell back upon 
my men in a wild, confused mass. Every soldier knows 
something of the demoralizing effect of an enfilade fire, such 
as the Confederates had on our line, and the further fact, that 
a stampede of panic-stricken troops is as uncontrollable as 
that of the herds on the western plains. I was drawing out 
my line at an angle from their former position in order to 
check the Confederate advance, when I was shot down, re- 
ceiving this wound in the hip, from the effects of which in the 
opinion of nerve specialists, I will never ixdlj recover. My 
own men, brave and tried soldiers, though they were, caught 
up the contagion and joined in the headlong flight, for be- 
fore a proper alignment could be made, the Confederates were 
among them, sweeping by and beyond me as I lay wounded 
upon the ground, and shooting to kill, as was evidenced by 
the large number of fallen Federals on the spot. I felt mor- 
tified and chagrined when I saw this small body of Confed- 
erates, for they did not number more than about fifty or sixty 
men, by brave and skillful management, put to rout many 
times their number of our men. Biit I was particularly im- 
pressed by their youthful leader as he passed by where I 
lay, his countenance glowing with the enthusiasm of a 
school boy going out upon the play ground for a game of 
ball, shouting 'forward men !' rushing on with his little band 
like an avalanche to what seemed certain destruction. He 
reminded me of the pictures I had seen in my old school his- 
tory in my boyhood days. I admire bravery even in a foe, 
and this I would call true gallantry such as was seldom wit- 
nessed in either army in the many battles of the Civil War. 
I am aware that -some Virginia troops claim by an attack in 
front of our position to have regained their lost ground, but 
I know the fact that their attack was not made until after I 

54 North Carolina Troops, 1861-65. 

had fallen, and to this young officer and his brave followers 
belongs the honor of turning the tide of battle, and of possibly 
saving Lee's army from direful defeat that morning. He was 
my ideal of a soldier, and as I thought of him I could but re- 
flect upon the honors so unworthily worn by myself, and wish 
they could have been the reward of such heroism as this. One 
of his men had fallen wovinded within a few feet of where I 
lay, and after the heavy fighting ceased, the Confederates 
having re-established their position, I was, though in pain, 
so much interested that I asked him who his leader was. 
Well do I remember his reply, as it came in a loud, emphatic 
tone, as if proud to speak it: 'Captain Billy McLaurin, of 
the Eighteenth North Carolina Regiment, one of the bravest 
men iu Lee's army !' I was fully prepared to believe what 
he said. 

"It is a strange thing to me that those who write history are 
so full and profuse in their records of achievements of gen- 
erals, to the exclusion of such praiseworthy deeds on the part 
of subalterns and privates who bore the brunt of battle." 

The testimony of a foe on the ground is worth considering, 
in giving proper credit to the troops entitled to it. There 
were not more than three or four dozen of us, in this sortie, 
but it gave time for Lane to get in shape and hold the position 
till others could come to his assistance. When Gordon came 
with Early's division, there were Virginians in it, but they 
were entitled to no more credit than the Georgians, and oth- 
ers, that were necessary to help, and did help, auanfuUy, to 
hold the lines. 

After the attack in the afternoon Lane was put on a line 
that McGowan was taken from near a brick kiln. We were 
shifted to different parts of the liije till the 21st when we 
had a skirmish near a church two or three miles to the right 
of the court house. That night we marched to the right, and 
on the morning of the 23rd bivouacked in an oak wood on a 
little stream that flowed into the South Anna river. Our 
canteenmen were not long in finding water and — something 
besides ; one of them came running back, and asked for my 
'army colt.' I pointed to my belt, hanging on a nearby oak. 
Others were noticed hurriedly leaving camp. Pop ! pop 1 

Eighteenth Regiment. 55 

pop ! bang ! bang ! bang ! was soon heard down the slope. ISTot 
long after an elderly gentleman rode hurriedly into camp 
and was directed to headquarters. General Lane sent at 
once to have each regiment searched and if any mutton 
was found to send mutton and man to him under guard. 
Strict search was made, but it could no where be found and 
the adjutants were so reporting. When the adjutant of the 
Thirty-seventh was about to make a similar report for his 
regiment, Jim L stepped up the slope right near head- 
quarters with a leg of mutton in his hand, in open handed 
guilt, and he was scooped in. 

Jim was the first to return with a trophy of the fusillade 
down the branch, and was the only man caught. The rest 
who went that way were innocent lambs and saw nothing. 
Jim was put to walking a circle with a billet of wood, and 
the leg of mutton on his shoulder. This soon became a bur- 
den and the citizen asked that he be released and allowed to 
have the mutton. General Lane didn't relent at once, and 
the kind-hearted citizen at last insisted that Jim be not only 
pardoned, but that the men be allowed to go down into his 
clover field and get the flock. 

The incident of the morning, gave opportunity for one of 
the ludicrous humors of war that afternoon. 

The enemy drove back the guards from Jericho ford and 
Lane was sent two or three miles back to assist in stopping 
them, and found a corps had crossed and had a hard fight, 
losing 100 men killed and wounded. 

In the midst of a sharp attack the Thirty-seventh broke, 
and started for the rear, leaving the Eighteenth liable to be 
cut off and the Thirty-third to be flanked. x\s soon as they 
began leaving the other regiments of the brigade began bleat- 
ing like sheep. At a short distance the Thirty-seventh rallied 
and returned and fought very well afterwards. It was ludi- 
crous in the extreme — fighting for all we were worth and 
bleating like sheep. We were relieved about 10 o'clock 
and returned to the station. Next morning we threw up 
earthworks that were not needed. The enemy had with- 

When my negro boy, Jack, came to me from the rear my 

56 North Carolina Troops, 186 1-65. 

haversack had an unusual fullness about it. Whilst I was 
ascertaining the cause, General Lane came along viewing the 
progress of the works. I asked him to share some venison 
( ?) with me. He was too polite to refuse so rare a dish, and 
said it was good. 

Grant, like his predecessors, deferred to the objections that 
General Lee rather forcibly expressed to his going direct to 
Eichmond, and with the left flank movement, sought to ac- 
complished that end. On the 31st we had an all-day artil- 
lery and skirmish engagement at Storr's farm, on the Toto- 
potamy, and on 1 June supported the artillery on the Tur- 
key Ridge road in the preliminary arrangements for 
the onslaught of the 2nd. The Eighteenth fortified on the 
ridge near the McGhee house, and was to the right of the 
main point of attack in the second Cold Harbor fight, say one- 
third of a mile. 

Grant massed his troops and hurled column after column 
upon Lee, and was repulsed with such terrible slaughter that 
his ofiicers and men as is well known refused to charge that 
position again. 

Though not hotly engaged, the Eighteenth lost some valua- 
ble men by skirmishes and sharpshooters. General Lane 
was wounded, and Colonel Barry, of the Eighteenth com- 
manded the brigade. On the 13th the Eighteenth had a 
skirmish near Riddle's shop. Night put a stop to it. On 
the 20th we crossed James river, and on the 22nd about three 
miles beyond Petersburg had a sharp fight with the enemy 
who was trying to reach the Weldon railroad. On the 2'3rd 
Barry was sent to relieve Mahone's brigade, and it was not out 
of range when the enemy advanced. Though the artillery 
and musketry firing was very heavy for a while, it did not 
return to give us the help we so sorely needed. 

On 2 July the brigade was ordered to the north 
side of the James river and made a hard, hot march 
to Deep Bottom, where we had skii-mishing almost daily till 
the 28th. At Gravely Hill there was a hot engagement. A 
few days afterward Colonel Barry was wounded by a sharp- 
shooter whilst on a reeonnoitering tour, and Colonel W. W. 
Barber, of the Twenty-seventh, commanded the brigade until 

Eighteenth Regiment. 57 

the battle of Euzzell's Mill, 16 August. General Wright's 
Georgia brigade was deployed to hold a line, whilst Ander- 
son was taking another position. The enemy advancing in 
heavy force captured Wright's thin line, and reinforced their 
attacking party with negro troops to hold it. 

General Lee was on the field and ordered Lane's_ brigade, 
under Barber, to the retaking of the work, which was done 

It was our first encounter with negro troops, and there 
were blue-black birds lying on that battle field. Colonel Bar- 
ber was wounded, and Colonel Spear, of the Twenty-eighth, 
succeeded to the command. We recrossed the James and 
were placed on the right of the line near Battery 45, and 
were used to reinforce the cavalry, and retake positions that 
the "critter" companies would retire from. Brigadier-Gen- 
eral Connor succeeded Colonel Spear in the command of the 
brigade by order of General Lee, a few days before the battle 
of Reams station, on 25 August, 1864. General Han- 
cock, who we had, on previous occasions, found to be a 
good soldier, and determined fighter, held a strong position on 
the railroad against the attacks made upon him, and was 
much encouraged by the previous success that day, that he 
would hold the railroad. 

Cooke's, MacRae's and Lane's North Carolina Brigades 
were selected to make the final attack. It was expecting 
much of them to make the assault where greater numbers had 
been repulsed, but that expectation was realized to the fullest 

Elated by their victories, neither Hancock nor his men 
thought of leaving those breastworks till the "Tar Heels" 
were crossing them, and Hancock left his coat tail in the 
hands of James W. Atkinson, the gallant color bearer of the 
Thirty-third North Carolina Regiment, and some 2,000 of 
his command as prisoners. 

We thus more than evened up his captures from the 
Eighteenth and Twenty-eighth, and Johnson's division at 
Spottsylvania Court House 12 May, 1864. 

The Eighteenth was in the thick woods on the left, and 

68 North Carolina Troops, 1861 -'65. 

had a hard time in getting through the abatis on that part of 
the line. 

On the 29th, four days after, General Lee wrote Governor 
"Vance : "T have been frequently called upon to mention the 
services of JSTorth Carolina soldiers in this army, but their, 
gallantry and conduct were never more deserving the admira- 
tion than in the engagement at Reams Station on the 25th 
instant. The brigades of Generals Cooke, MacEae and Lane, 
the last under the temporary command of General Connor, 
advanced through a thick abatis of felled trees, ixnder a 
heavy fire of musketry and artillery, and carried the enemy's 
works with a steady courage that elicited the warm commen- 
dation of their corps and division commanders, and the ad- 
miration of the army." 

A few days afterward, in an address at Charlotte, IST. C, 
President Davis said, among other complimentary things, of 
North Carolina : "Her sons were foremost in the first battle 
of the war, Great Bethel, and they were foremost in the last 
fight, near Petersburg, Reams Station." 

We returned to Battery 45 at Petersburg and were again 
foot cavalry reinforcements, to the critter cavalry, in resist- 
ing the extension lines of the enemy to our right. 

On Y September a brisk fight was had with the infantry 
and artillery at the Davis House. 

On the 30th we again passed through Petersburg to go 
over the James, bixt before reaching it were recalled and 
found the enemy at the Jones house, not far from our camp. 

They were quickly put to flight, leaving many prisoners in 
our hands. We camped upon the field that night. On 
1 October we found the enemy at the Pegram House, as if 
they had come to stay in that neighborhood. A repetition of 
the experience of the 30th caused them to retire for a time. 

The repeated efforts of Grant to extend his left, brought 
troops to our right. We returned to Battery 45, and were 
comparatively free from similar expeditions during the next 
few months. On 8 December we went to Jarratt's Sta- 
tion where the Yankees were in force in possession of the Wel- 
don road. They evacuated with little fighting. Again, we 
went to Stony Creek further down the road. On each of these 

Eighteenth Regiment. 59 

days the weather was very cold, and ours was not a pleasure 
trip. We were glad to return to our winter quarters near 
Forty-five and Fort Gregg. 

After the battle of Spottsylvania, Major Thos. J. Wooten, 
of the Eighteenth, was in command of the sharpshooters of 
Lane's brigade and made an enviable reputation during the 
campaign. Around Petersburg he was a teiTor to the ene- 
my's picket lines, and had a reputation in both armies. 

Wooten's "seine-haulings" were proverbial, and he was 
liberally used by division, corps and army headquarters for 
ascertaining the enemy's lines or movements. His method 
was to reconnoiter, during the day, the lines to be gone 
through that night and at such hour as would suit his pur- 
pose would approach "in twos" with his select men, sufficient- 
ly near to make a dash at them. At a signal the column 
would go through the line with as little noise as possible, halt, 
face out, and each rank swing around right and left, taking 
the skirmish line in the rear, capturing the men with the min- 
imum of danger to his command. His success was phenom- 
enal, and he received the commendation of Generals Lee and 
Hill in congratulatory orders. 

At an armistice to bury the dead, the Federals were curi- 
ous to see "Major Hooten," as they called him. Viewed in 
his Confederate garb, which was not very elaborate, his ap- 
pearance was not "as striking as an army with banners" and 
when pointed out to a lot of officers and men, a significant 
smile passed 'round the group, which found expression in the 
exclamation of an impressible Teuton, "Mine, Got ! ! ! Is dot 
ze man what makes us skeert, like Stonewall Shackson? 

There was a generous rivalry among the regiments of the 
brigade, in keeping their quota of this corps to the highest 
efficiency and it was deemed an honor to secure a detail to fill 
a vacancy in it. Several of its members refused to accept 
promotion to lieutenant, and return to their companies to 
command them. 

The story of Petersburg will never be written ; volumes 
would be required to contain it, and even those who went 
through the trying ordeal, can not recall a satisfactory outline 

60 North Carolina Troops, 1861-'65. 

of the weird and graphic occurrences of that stormy period. 

The Eighteenth was not often in the sapping and mining 
portion of the lines and was not so particularly at- 
tracted by its experience as to wish to take up its 
abode in the Blandford portion of the army. During the 
month of September when it was necessary to draw the 
troops from about the Crater to resist an attack near the Ap- 
pomattox, we were hurriedly brought from Battery 45 to 
support "Long Tom" about 200 yards to the right. There 
was no time to go in the covered way, and the brigade was 
marched in, on an open high ridge. It now appears won- 
derful that we were not swept off the earth. 

We were not in the trenches long, when "Long Tom" 
opened on the Supply train that arrived on Grant's military 
railroad, and it was but a short time before the sand-bag em- 
brazures and the embankments around "Long Tom" needed 

It was not difficult for us to learn the devices constructed 
for protection, from the accurate fire of the enemy at close 
range, and when the mortars rained do^^m their shot from the 
sky we found the holes and could do the gopher act with the 
facility of trained residents. 

The scene at night was beautiful in the extreme, but there 
was an element of unattractiveness about it, that caused us 
to yield readily to the desire of any others to see the sights 
from that view point, and we invariably retired at first op- 
portunity, to position where the lines were further apart. 

When Gordon attacked Fort Steadman 25 March, we 
were massed near by, but did not become actively engaged. 
Gordon carried the fort, but could not hold it, without very 
great sacrifice of men. His loss was greater than his cap- 
tures, and Lee had no men to spare. 

On the night of 27 May, Major Wooten, with the sharp- 
shooter corps of Wilcox's division, broke the Yankee lines, 
and captured and held the strong position of Mcllwaine's hill 
all the next day. Wooten and Dunlap (McGowan) pulled 
the seine, and Scales' and Thomas' corps helped to hold the 
ground. The audacity of the proceeding was their security, 
as the Yankees had lots of men close by, who appeared to fear 

Eighteenth Regiment. 61 

that a trap was laid for them. The concentration of troops 
on Hatcher's Run and Five Forks necessitated the stretch- 
ing of the Confederate lines and the men of Lane's Brigade 
were some twenty feet apart in the trenches, beyond the Jones 
house, when the final attack was made before day on the 
morning of 2 April. Our thin line could make but feeble 
resistance to the Sixth corps hurled against us. We detained 
them, however, till the lines were broken beyond us, and fell 
back towards Fort Gregg, making a stand on the Dinwiddle 
plank road. 

It was after sunrise that General A. P. Hill was seen 
coming from the direction of his headquarters on the Cox 
road, near the Appomattox. The crowd that I was witti 
made every effort to stop him. Seeing no indication of halt- 
ing, I ran out towards the direction he was going, and though 
some 50 yards distant, shouted to him that our line was broken 
and that the enemy's skirmishers were on the plank road be- 
yond the creek. Answering back, that he was aware there 
was danger, but must get to his right, he disappeared around 
a hill, down a valley leading to a crossing on the creek. A 
volley as of a dozen guns was heard in that direction, his 
horse ran back in a few minutes without him and we knew 
that our gallant commander was off duty forever. His sta^i 
and attendants, who were following him, caught his horse. 
His body was recovered and carried to the rear. 

The statement that one of his staff, or couriers, caught him 
as he fell, is without foundation, a loving fabrication of the 
devotional kind. They would have been with him, if they 
could, but having the fleetest horse, he was far in advance, 
and I was doubtless the last Confederate spoken to by him. 
In the discharge of his duty, as he saw it, he rode into the 
jaws of death, and the army lost one of its most valuable 

Lane and Thomas' brigades formed near the Plank road 
and repulsed the enemy in several advances. Wilcox ordered 
the troops on the Petersburg side of the break back to a line 
of small forts outside of the main works at Battery 45. 

When we got to Fort Gregg we f oimd some artillerists in it 
and Lane's North Carolina brigade furnished the greater 

62 North Carolina Troops, 1861-65. 

part of the garrison. Thomas' Georgia and Harris' Missis- 
sippi brigades the balance. Generals Wilcox and Lane were 
in it, when I left by permission of the latter to go to our win- 
ter quarters near by to get our records. 

The Sixth corps had been reinforced by the Twenty-fourth, 
Gibbon's corps, and the advance was made on Gregg before I 
could ret^irn. 

I was glad to be on the outside. The fighting was des- 
perate. Eepulsed, the enemy reinforced and returned with 
several lines, enveloping the fort, they filled the moat and 
climbed the parapet, fighting their way inside. Getting in- 
side, the fighting was hand to hand, till those not killed were 

Lieutenant William 0. Eobinson, Company B, Eighteenth 
Kegiment, and Color Sergeant James W. Atkinson, Thirty- 
third North Carolina, escaped after the fighting with clubbed 
muskets ceased, and always speak of it as a scene of inde- 
scribable horror. 

After the surrender of Gregg the other forts were evacu- 
ated, and the main line at Battery 45, and the dam on the 
creek occupied. This was held till night, and Petersburg 
was behind us in the morning. 

The march to Appomattox Court House was a succession 
of privations and hardships scarcely credible by those who 
have not had actual army experiences. 

The supply trains that were to have been stopped at Burke- 
ville and Amelia Court House, passed on, and were captured. 
That country could not subsist the army, and men and ani- 
mals suffered for food. We were formed in line of battle 
several times and had some casualties at High Bridge and 
near Jetersville. 

On the morning of 9 April, whilst the Eighteenth was 
forming line of battle, on a ridge to the left of the road 
before getting to the branch near Appoimattox Court House, 
Grant's officer, bearing dispatches to Lee, passed through its 
lines and found Lee a few hundred yards in our rear on the 
road we had just left. 

Firing was then going on beyond the court house by Gen- 
eral Grimes' North Carolinians. 

Eighteenth Regiment. 63 

We were marched to a near by woods and sadly, sorrow- 
fully stacked arms. All was over. 

The limits of this paper prevent the mention of the many 
meritorious officers and men composing this regiment, of 
whom I could not speak in too high terms. The valor of its 
men, and its services is attested by its casualties on the field 
of battle, from New Bern to Gettysburg, and then to Appo- 
mattox Court House, where its last act was getting ready for 

Colonel John D. Barry was its only member that reached 
the grade of general. He was appointed temporary brigadier 
3 August, 1864, but he was later assigned to department duty 
with his regular grade of Colonel (as General Lane had re- 
turned to the brigade) on account of his wounds and impaired 
health, leaving us the latter part of February or March. 

Lieutenant-Colonel John W. McGill resigned about the 
same time. Major Thos. J. Wooten was thus entitled to be- 
come Colonel and was so recommended, also Captain John J. 
Poisson to be Lieutenant-Colonel, and Captain B. P. Rinaldi 
Major. Petersburg was evacuated before they received their 
rank to which they were justly entitled. Major Wooten was 
kept in command of the brigade sharpshooters, and Captain 
Poisson paroled the regiment, as its commanding officer. 

I append a roster of those who were present, and surren- 
dered at Appomattox : 

Field and Staff — Major Thomas J. Wooten, Adjutant 
Wm. H. McLaurin, Surgeon Thomas B. Lane, Assistant Sur- 
geon Simpson Russ. ISTon-Commissioned Staff, Ordnance 
Sergeant, Chas. Flanner. 

Company A — Captain B. F. Rinaldi, Sergeants M. N. 
Tatum, Wm. Howard, and Privates Henry Howard, F. How- 
ard, John Johnson, B. D. Lindsey, G. W. McDonald. 

Company B — Lieutenant R. M. Lesesne, Sergeant D. 
Storm, Corporal S. Singleterry, Privates W. C. Bray, E. 
Austin, John Meares. 

Company C — Lieutenant Owen Smith, Musician G. W. 
Sherrill, and Privates D. R. Best, Dan Green, D. Klutts. 

Company D — Orderly Sergeant A. E. Floyd, Corporal J. 

64 North Carolina Troops, 1861-65. 

P. Inman, and Privates A. N. Prophet, K. Lovett, A. J. 
Thompson, Zack Clewis. 

Company E — Second Lieutenant W. N. Fetter, Musician 
H. M. Woodcock, and Privates S. B. Costin, H. Moore, C. 
"BarnhiU, J. B. Wall, L. B. Wall, T. E. Colvin. 

Company P — Sergeant A. E. Smith, Corporal J. A. Pat- 
terson, and Privates W. W. BuUard, W. C. Daves, J. A. Cal- 
der, A. A. Huckabee, M. G. McKoy, James Nolan, N. McN. 
Patterson, A. D. Webb. 

Company G — Captain John J. Poisson, Second Lieuten- 
ant J. M. Whitted, Sergeant Jas. R. Dancey, Corporal J. W. 
Gordon, Musician J. J. Leslie, and Privates J. F. Adams, P. 
Dickson, E. H. Hall, C. J. Sasser, P. T. Smith. 

Company H — Second Lieutenant Alex. Lewis, Sergeant 

C. M. Baldwin, Corporal H. C. Long, and Privates John 
E. Baldwin, J. J. Chancy, John Creech, J. E. Jackson, A. 
Minton, W. Nance, E. H. Price, John Safrit, J. W. Yelton, 
Hospital Steward Wiley A. Cornish. 

Company I — Sergeants S. W. Wells, J. H. Brown, Cor- 
poral J. J. F. Heath, and Privates John Case, Daniel Brin- 
dle, L. H. Horn, D. S. Latta, S. Bell, H. Hayne, H. A. Hall, 

D. Y. Eussell and E. B. Banks. 

Company K — First Lieutenant E. N. Eobeson, Sergeants 
S. N. Eichardson, W. H. King, A. McNeill, Corporals J. A. 
Cromartie, D. M. Sutton, and Privates W. N. Anderson, 
Jesse F. Bloodworth, S. T. Buie, J. C. Kinlaw, W. Melvin, 
D. Murphy, N. Sikes and John Dunham. 
We prize our parole as a badge of honor. 

Wm. H. McLauein, 
Adjutant Eighteenth N. C. T. 
Laueinburg, N. C. , 

9 April, 1901. 


Lawrence Stewart, 1st Lieut., Co. F. 2. J. D. Cnrrie, 2d Lieut., Co, K, 
3. John Walter Stewart, 3d Lieut., Co. F, 


By THOMAS H. SUTTON, Phivatb, Company I. 

This regiment was a part of the brigade of General Branch, 
of Raleigh, a brave and gallant officer, who, after many times 
leading his brigade to victory in bloody and hard fought bat- 
tles, fell at Sharpsburg with his face to the foe, sword in 
hand. After this, and to the final end, the brigade to which 
the Eighteenth ]^. C. belonged, was known as "Lane's" — 
Colonel James H. Lane, of the Twenty-eighth N. C, suc- 
ceeding to the command upon the death of General Branch. 

This brigade was composed of the Seventh, Eighteenth, 
Twenty-eighth, Thirty-third and Thirty-seventh — all N"orth 
Carolina regiments — whose history, was a part of that of the 
Army of Northern Virginia, to which it belonged. 

The Eighteenth 'N. C. was one of the best regiments in the 
Confederate service. 

It was composed of ten companies, each one with a full 
quota of men — some companies, at the beginning, having 
over one hundred, viz : 

CoMPANT A, The German Volunteers, of Wilmington, 
K C. 

Company B, The Bladen Light Infantry, of Bladen 

Company C, The Columbus Guards, from Columbus 

Company D, The Robeson Light Infantry, from Robeson 

Company E, The Moore's Creek Riflemen, from ISTew 
Hanover County. 

Company F, The Scotch Boys, from Richmond County. 


66 North Cakolina Troops, 1861-65. 

Company G, The Wilmingtoii Light Infantry, from Wil- 
mington, N. C. 

Company H, The Columbus Vigilants, from Columbus 

Company I, The Wilmington Eifle Guards, from Wil- 
mington, N. C. 

Company K, The Bladen Guards, from Bladen County, 
N. C. 

■ Thus, it will be seen, that Bladen County furnished two, 
Columbus two, Eichmond one, Eobeson one, and New Han- 
over County four, three of which were from Wilmington. 

The brigade was organized at Kinston, IST. C, after wnicJi, 
in the Spring of 1862, they were ordered to join the com- 
mand of General (Stonewall) Jackson who was then "oper- 
ating" upon Banks, Shields, Milroy, et at., in his historic 
and ever memorable campaign in the "Valley of Virginia. We 
were sent by rail to Gordonsville, Va., and froim thence took 
up our line of march towards General Jackson's command, 
and while thus marching and some distance beyond a place' 
called Tripperville (if my memory serves me right) a moun- 
tain village in Western Virginia, we turned back upon the 
line of our march, and for ten days covered an average 
distance of thirty miles each day, until at Hanover Couj't 
House (called by the Federals "Slash Church") we encoun- 
tered the heavy division of Fitz-John Porter, said to num- 
ber twenty thousand men. 

Here we "fleshed our maiden sword," for it was our first 
battle, and a fierce and bloody one it was. Colonel Lane's 
Twenty-eighth Eegiment was by some means detached from 
us, and from 1 o'clock until nearly dark, with only four regi- 
ments, we held this tremendous force at bay, and then re- 
treated to Ashland in the direction of Eichmond, where 
General Joe Johnston was facing McClellan's splendid army. 
The Eighteenth Eegiment lost in this engagement, in killed, 
wounded, missing and prisoners, fully two hundred men. 

From Ashland we marched to a place called "Chamber- 
lain's Hill," almost in full view of the battle of Seven Pines, 
which was the great preliminary skirmish to the seven days' 

Eighteenth Regiment. 67 

fight, which was destined, under the leadership of Lee and 
Jackson, (General Joe Johnston having been wounded at the 
Seven Pines fight) to rid our Capital City of the presence of 
the enemy, then within sound of the chimes of its church 

No one of us knew why we had been detached from the 
command of General Jackson in the valley, so thoroughly did 
he keep his own counsel, who, while we were marching to- 
wards Hanover Court House was, with his main command, 
silently and swiftly moving towards a common place of meet- 
ing, mapped out by his busy and active brain. 

Shortly after the Seven Pines fight, we joined the main 
body of General Jackson's command (who, up to that time 
we supposed, were in the Valley where we had left them) at 
the bridge crossing the Chickahominy river, near Mechanics- 
ville, when, soon after, the memorable "seven days" battle 
around Richmond was begun and fought to a successful 
finish. It was here that the splendid genius of Stonewall 
Jaclcson was displayed in all its grandeur. Crossing the 
Chickahominy river at or near Mechanicsville with his corps, 
he opened the fight by attacking Siegel's corps of the Federal 
arniy in the rear, and drove them back in the early day- 
light, throwing them into the greatest consternation 
and panic. Upon the opening of Jackson's men in the 
rear, the main army under General Lee advanced in front, 
and from thence on, for seven days, day after day, the Eigh- 
teenth N. C. Regiment as a part of Jackson's corps, A. IST. V., 
drove the enemy, defeating General McClellan with his splen- 
didly equipped army until they were compelled to take shel- 
ter under the guns of their James river fleet. 

It was reported that at the close of this series of splendid 
victories. General Jackson said: "This is our opportunity, 
let us on to Washington, and there dictate terms of peace and 
close the war." 

But if he did say these words, the fates decreed otherwise. 
We did not go to Washington but we did rid Richmond, our 
capital, from the presence of the enemy, threatening its de- 
struction. There were many incidents, many escapes, many 
adventures that happened here, in and around the seven days' 

68 North Caeolina Troops, 1861-65. 

fight, that might be related, if time and space did not forbid. 

Our brigade camped at a place near Eichmond, after the 
seven days' fight, called "Howard's Grove," and after rest- 
ing a few days commenced our march towards Gordonsville, 
and on 9 August, 1862, fell in with the enemy at Cedar 
Eun, where we were immediately put under fire, and 
had a hot time in more ways than one. It was here that we 
filled the "gap" made vacant by the falling back of the cele- 
brated "Stonewall Brigade" and held it to the end, driving 
the enemy and making ourselves masters of the field. 

After this fight and victory General Jackson rode out in 
front of our brigade and "dropped" his hat in silent acknowl- 
edgment of our deed, in holding an important point, which 
the old "Stonewall Brigade" had failed to do — and by special 
order from corps headquarters a handsome compliment was 
paid to the "gallant soldiers of Branch's brigade." The night 
following while resting upon our arms, a staff officer rode up 
to General Branch and asked hita "how he felt," to which 
General Branch replied that "he was delighted vdth the re- 
sults of the day and was proud of the manner in which his 
brigade had acted." Our loss was comparatively light con- 
sidering the deadly work in which we were engaged, but we 
left some noble and true men on that field, which served to 
remind us that in the next battle we fought it might be our lot 
to fill a soldier's grave. From Cedar Run we marched to 
Warrenton Springs, where it was rumored General Lee would 
cross the river. The enemy were in full force on the other 
side, for they "shelled the woods" where we were all day, and 
we felt that "something was up" or would be soon. 

Late in the afternoon of the next day, we were on the 
march, with Jackson's corps, to which we were now perma- 
nently attached, for what point we knew not, for it was "Jack- 
son's way" to keep his movements a profound secret, but after 
a long forced march and before we were aware of it, we were 
in possession of immense stores of great value, captured from 
the enemy at Manassas Junction, our rear fighting the ad- 
vance guard of the enemy, so close to the army supply train 
of the foe as to make it uncomfortable as well as "unhealthy" 
to those of us who, by religious training, if. any there were. 

Eighteenth Regiment. 69 

might be indisposed to shed human blood. The Eighteenth 
North Carolina under Colonel Thos. J. Purdie, of Bladen 
County, a gallant soul, was detailed to guard the train. We 
were told that the train was to be fired, and a tacit consent 
was given us to replenish our empty haversacks. The con- 
tents of several cars were distributed and the residue burned. 
Some of our men secured a very fine saddle for Colonel Pur- 
die, of the Eighteenth, which was intended for the Dutch 
General Siegel, sent him by his friends and admirers, but a 
nobler man than he for whom it was intended, bestrode it, 
and the saddle is now, or was a few years since, in the posses- 
sion of the Purdie family of Bladen, treasured as a precious 
relic and memento of Colonel Thomas J. Purdie, as noble 
a man and gallant a soldier as ever faced a foe, and who in a 
short while, following the events here narrated, fell while 
gallantly leading his regiment to victory. 

We left Manassas Junction about dark and rested a few 
hours the next day at Centreville, where some works had 
been thrown up at the conunencement of the war, and that 
evening, which I think was 2Y August, we commenced 
the "big" Manassas battle, which lasted until the 
night following the 29th. Here were more of the enemy 
killed than at any other fight or on any one field — certainly 
in our front, during the entire war. The enemy began to 
fall back the last day of the fight ; it was a most disastrous and 
complete rout. Here we had to contend with McClellan's 
army, that we had fought around Eichmond and the Valley 
forces, all combined. The pursuit was kept up all day Sun- 
day and the day following, when they were overtaken at Ox 
Hill, when we had a -fight of four or five hours, in an almost 
continuous rain ; but we again repulsed the enemy and drove 
them before us, thus again acknowledging the prowess of 
Branch's brigade, which for a great part was composed of the 
"fiower of the Cape Fear section." That night the enemy 
vacated our front, and in a few days we resumed our march, 
crossing the Potomac at the "Point of Eocks," and we were 
told that we were in "Maryland, my Maryland." The Con- 
federate soldier will always remember the beauty of the fair, 
noble women and the brave chivalric men of Maryland. The 

70 North Carolina Troops, 1861-65. 

great heart of her people was with us, and we knew it, but 
they were in fetters, bound hand and foot. We camped near 
Frederick City, for a few days. This is the place made fa- 
mous by the touching poem of John Greenleaf Whittier, 
called Barbara Freitchie, who, as the poet has it, was an old 
grey-haired woman, who in her attic window waved the 
Union flag at the Confederates, and was shot at by them, until 
stopped by General Jackson. There is not a word of truth in 
this tale — no Confederate soldier can be found, or named, 
living or dead, who ever knowingly fired at a woman ; and I 
have it from a gentleman who lived in Frederick City at the 
time Jackson's men passed through, who says our march did 
not carry us within three or four blocks of the house where 
Barbara lived — that no such thing was heard of as related by 
Mr. Whittier and no such thing happened. This gentleman, 
my informant, is a native of Maryland, and lived in Fred- 
erick City during the war and since, and has held high office 
under the State Government of Maryland. I met him in 
Washington a few years since and he confirmed my belief 
respecting the "facts" as given by the poet, that it was a 
myth, a pure invention of the imaginative mind of the poet. 
The only real fact in the poem, is that there was a woman 
named Barbara Freitchie, living in Frederick City at the 
time Jackson passed through. But I must proceed. 

We again marched through Frederick City, re-crossed the 
Potomac at Williamsport, and were back in Virginia, and 
"hovering with stealthy steps" (as was Jackson's way) 
around Harpers Ferry. Here we operated several days, 
climbing precipitous mountains trying to get into position. 
We had literally to pull ourselves up by bushes, roots, or any- 
thing projecting from the mountain sides, some of us actually 
having to brace ourselves against trees, so as to hold our guns 
in position and ready to fire at the word given. Early the 
next morning the artillery opened on the enemy, receiving a 
very weak reply, and in a short time the white emblem of sur- 
render went up and "the boys in blue" walked out and stacked 
their arms. 

Here again we captured valuable stores of immense value, 
and thousands of stand of arms, and eleven thousand pris- 

Eighteenth Regiment. 71 

oners, according to the figures published. Here again "Old 
Stonewall" left his "book mark" with the enemy, as a gen- 
tle reminder that he and his corps were around, and requested 
a generous ( ?) remembrance by the Federal Government at 

After being supplied with Enfield rifles — of which we 
stood in great need — we crossed the Potomac again, and for 
the second time were in Maryland, and we were soon in the 
Sharpsburg fight (called by the Federals, Antietam). This 
was what might be called a "draw fight," and it was here 
that our brigade commander, the noble and chivalrous Branch 
yielded up his life as a holocaust to his country's need ! "ISTo 
country ever had a truer son, no cause a nobler champion, 
no principle a bolder defender" than the noble and gallant 
soldier, General Lawrence O'Brien Branch ! 

After quitting the field at Sharpsburg, we crossed the Po- 
tomac again at Shepherdstown, took again to the Old Domin- 
ion. The winter was coming on. The chill blasts from the 
North were beginning to tell heavily upon the exhausted 
frames and shattered energies of our men, all of whom were 
unused to such rough lives, and we did hope for a rest in win- 
ter quarters, where, for a while at least, we might sleep and 
dream of home and comforts, without the thought of war with 
its dreadful realities. 

But vain hope ! Taking up our march on the Shepherds- 
town road, we soon knew that we were approaching the enemy 
by the skirmishing in our front. We formed line of battle 
and drove the enemy into the river, despite the heavy guns 
that had been planted on the Maryland side to protect them. 
We lay that day on the river bank iinder a heavy fire from the 
enemy's guns of grape, canister and shell. 

Our regilment camped near Berryville and were called out 
several times to meet the enemy at Snicker's Gap, but never 
engaged them there. We then marched up the Valley pike, 
crossing the Blue Ridge at New Market Gap, and camped 
near Fredericksburg. The enemy crossed the Rappahan- 
nock and. we were ordered to meet them. 0^^r brigade (now 
Lane's) were not in front of the city, but almost the ex- 
treme right of Lee's army. We formed line of battle at the 

72 North Carolina Troops, 1861-'65. 

railroad on 13 December, ■ 1862, soon after which our 
skirmish line came in and the enemy developed in great 
numbers and swept us from our position at the railroad. We 
soon rallied and swept on to the railroad again, the Eigh- 
teenth and Seventh Eegisments of our brigade not stopping at 
the railroad, but going on to the hill beyond, on the top of 
which we were in full view of the enemy, killing a great 
many and losing some of our best men, as an offset for our 
daring charge. From that time on, the fight was not heavy 
in our front, but was in front of the city. The night the 
enemy re-crossed the river, a general charge had been ordered 
all along the line, but was countermanded by General Lee. 
Then the campaign of 1862 ended with the victory at Fred- 
ericksburg. We went into winter quarters on the Rappahan- 
nock near Moss ISTeck church, at Camp Gregg, named for 
that general who was killed at Fredericksburg. Here Gen- 
eral Lane was presented with a fine saddle and bridle by the 
field officers in token of their appreciation of his merits. 
Under an act of the Confederate Congress a medal was to be 
given to the man who was voted by his comrades as the 
bravest and best soldier. The company to which Jesse F. 
Bloodworth (Company K, Eighteenth IST. 0.) belonged, 
without a dissenting voice, decided for him, and although 
the medal never came, yet not one of Napoleon's old guard, 
could have more richly deserved, nor more worthily won it. 

The campaign of 1863 soon opened and we had to aban- 
don our comfortable quarters at Camp Gregg. A slight 
brush at the "Wilderness" was the opening prelude to that 
ever memorable campaign. With Jackson we took part in 
the flank movement around to Chancellorsville. The enemy 
were completely surprised (for this was Jackson's way) in 
an old field where a part of their forces were camped. They 
left their coffee on the fire and "stood not upon the order of 
their going." We marched some distance and filed left into 
a woodland and formed line of battle about dark 
Avith our right resting on the plank road. The Eigh- 
teenth was the left regiment, and the Fiftieth , Virginia 
was upon our left. It was now Avell dark; our skirmishers 
had gone forward. In a few moments Generals Jackson and 

Eighteenth Regiment. 73 

A. P. Hill came riding down the plank road from the front, 
with a good many staff officers and couriers whose appearance 
in the gloom (we did not then know who they were) was well 
calculated to create the impression that the enemy's cavalry 
were advancing. This party wheeled into the woods exactly 
in front of the Eighteenth North Carolina Regiment. Our 
men having seen the skirmishers go forward, besides knowing 
that we had no friends in that direction, reasonably concluded 
that it was the enemy coming down upon us. At this mo- 
ment some over-excited man in the line shouted "Cavalry," 
whereupon the Eighteenth Regiment opened fire. The Fif- 
tieth Virginia Regiment also opened fire, and General Jack- 
son — the immortal "Stonewall" — received his mortal wound 
at the hands of those who loved him more than life, any one 
of whom would have risked and if need be, sacrificed his own 
life to save that of his beloved general. 

He was to the Army of JSTorthern Virginia what ISTey was 
to Napoleon, its very strong right arm, and yet by the in- 
exorable decree of fate it was reserved for the Eigh- 
teenth Regiment of North Carolina, in the discharge 
of a supposed duty, to deprive the Southern Army of its 
chief pillar of support, its most brilliant, matchless and 
greatest soldier. In addition to the firing from our ranks the 
enemy's artillery also opened upon us, from which it is sup- 
posed' General Jackson received other wounds while being 
borne from the field. 

We moved to the right of the plank road, when during the 
night we repulsed a heavy charge of the enemy. The next 
day (Sunday) the fight was renewed by our brigade charging 
the enemy's works, defended by about forty pieces of artillery 
heavily supported. Three times we charged, and finally cap- 
tured the works. Our regiment lost heavily. General A. P. 
Hill having been wounded the night previous, our corps was 
commanded by General J. E. B. Stuart. Here the gallant 
Colonel Thos." J. Purdie, of Bladen County, Colonel of the 
Eighteenth North Carolina Regiment, fell while gallantly 
leading his men. After this battle we returned to Camp 
Gregg, where a change of field officers was had. Major Jno. 
D. Barry, of Wilmington, was made Colonel, vice Purdie, 

74 North Carolina Troops, 1861-'65. 

killed ; Captain Jno. W. McGrill, vice Lieutenant-Colonel F. 
George, elected to the Legislature from Columbus County, 
and Captain Thos. J. Wooten to be Major, vice Barry, pro- 
moted. We bade farewell to Camp Gregg, and crossing the 
Potomac again at Shepherdstown, camped that night. 

Taking up our line of march again, we were in Petmsylva- 
nia, going towards Gettysburg, when the "dogs of war" were 
again unloosed with redoubled fury. 

The first day's fight at Gettysburg, we drove the enemy 
some distance and halted on a ridge, and lay on our arms that 
night, and held this ridge until the third day's fight. That 
day we were in position supporting our artillery, and under 
the heaviest fire of the enemy's field artillery that our brigade 
ever experienced during the entire war. 

Suddenly the enemy's artillery ceased and we were ordered 
forward to charge the heights occupied by the enemy's artil- 
lery and infantry. We faced the storm of death-dealing 
grape, shell and canister shot, and an incessant shower of 
musketry, a long distance in an open field, all the way, and 
reaching the heights only to find that we were flanked by the 
enemy and unsupported by our own troops, we were com.- 
pelled to fall back, leaving many of our best and bravest men 
dead and dying on this bloody and sanguinary field. After 
remaining in line f(?r a day we commenced our retreat to 
Hagerstown, where General Lee offered the enemy battle on 
equal terms, which they declined. We left Hagerstown in a 
hard rain, marching over a miserable road for Falling 
Waters, and about sunrise the next morning, after an all 
night's march, reached the old Potomac river again. Cross- 
ing the Potomac we were on Virginia soil again, and with a 
slight brush at Mine Run ended the campaign of 1863. 

General Grant had taken command of the Federal forces in 
the Spring of 1864, and crossed the river to meet us at the 
Wilderness. Here this battle commenced early in the after- 
noon, severe fighting going on contimiously until dark. We 
drove the enemy back — every charge they made. During the 
night following, however, by some fatal oversight, or unpar- 
donable negligence of some of our generals, our forces were 
hiiddled together in the utmost confusion, "cross and pile," 

Eighteenth Regiment. 75 

with no line formed, so that at daylight, the enemy making 
a desperate charge, we came very near being utterly routed, 
and would have been but for the timely appearance of some 
fresh troops. Our brigade rallied and drove the enemy 
back, the battle ended with victory for the Southern cause. 

Then commenced our roundabout march to Petersburg. 
On 12 May, 1864, we met the enemy at Spottsylvania, 
and on that morning we were in the memorable "Horse- 
shoe" enveloped by a dense fog, taking advantage of which 
the enemy broke our line, and captured many prisoners. But 
General Lane, by his admirable management of our brigade, 
again drove the enemy back and regained our lines. At this 
juncture our brigade was reinforced by Thomas' Georgia bri- 
gade, and we drove the enemy back across the works and into 
the woods beyond. Our brigade was then moved to the 
right, and behind hastily improvised works, which afforded 
little or no protection, we were exposed to a galling and heavy 
enfilading fire from six of the enemy's guns on his left. Thus 
we remained several hours, while General Ewell was being 
hard pressed. Later we were ordered to take the enemy's 
guns, supported by Mahone's Virginia brigade. 

We did capture the guns, besides took four hundred and 
fifty prisoners and three stand of colors. This the Eigh- 
teenth North Carolina Regiment, with the brigade to which 
it belonged, did, and the credit of the same was awarded to 
Lane's North Carolina Brigade, although Mahone tried to 
claim it. With the charge of our brigade the battle of Spott- 
sylvania Court House ended in another victory for General 
Lee's Army of Northern Virginia. 

On theimarch towards Petersburg we had several "brushes" 
with the enemy at Totopotomy Creek, Cold Harbor, Turkey 
Ridge and other places, not now remembered. 

At Turkey Ridge, General Lane being wounded, the com- 
mand of the brigade devolved upon Colonel Jno. D. Barry, 
of the Eighteenth North Carolina Regiment. 

Crossing the James river at Drewry's Bluff, we were 
among the first troops to reach Petersburg. 

It would be impossible to give anything like an accurate ac- 
count of our every day's work — fighting, marching and build- 

76 North Carolina Troops, 1861 -'65. 

ing works around Petersburg. Suffice it to say that the 
Eighteenth North Carolina Kegiment was always at the 
front, and always did its whole duty. We were ordered to 
cross the James river at Drewry's Bluff again, and on the 
march thither for the first time, at "Deep Bottom," we en- 
countered the colored troops, who first drove a brigade on our 
right out of the works, which we in turn retook, and held 
them until ordered elsewhere. 

Marching to Petersburg via Drewry's Bluff, we were sta- 
tioned below and to the right of Battery No. 45, and remained 
until our brigade was sent to assist in an attack on Reams 
Station. There we supported the brigades of Generals Cooke, 
MacEae and others, and being well supported, we charged 
the enemy's lines, took nine of his guns, two thousand prison- 
ers, besides wagons, ambulances, etc. It was a desperate 
fight, but the result added to the fame of the North Carolina 
soldier, of which their descendants may, for all time to come, 
be proud. 

Events in rapid succession crowded upon each other. The 
end was rapidly approaching. We went back to Battery 
No. 45. 

At Jones' Earm on 30 September, 1864, we had a severe 
fight, and lost from our regiment some of its bravest 
and best. Our regiment was now reduced to a mere "skele- 
ton" or handful of its former strength. Starting out with 
eleven hundred men, we were now reduced to one hundred or 
less. The death of every comrade was now indeed a serious 
loss. Our entire brigade was hardly now in numbers, as 
much as half our original regimental muster roll. 

We remained in the trenches at Petersburg until we took 
our last march in the Spring following towards Appomattox. 
As we passed through Petersburg the sidewalks of the city 
were filled with weeping women and children, lamenting the 
fate which they knew daylight would bring upon them. In 
our army they had centred their hopes, and with our de- 
parture they well knew their last earthly refuge and hope 
were gone, and for many days and nights thereafter the wail- 
ings and lamentations of these helpless women and children 
rang in the Southern soldier's ear as he "plodded his weary 

Eighteenth Regiment. 77 

■way" to the place where the Southern flag was to be furled 
forever. The march from Petersburg began 2 April, and 
ended at Appomattox 9 April, 1865. 

Twenty-eight thousand bleeding, half -starved and foot-sore 
soldiers stood there on that eventful 9 April, 1865, with 
folded arms, as General Lee rode down our lines and "bade us 
adieu forever." 

The Eighteenth North Carolina Regiment, after one year's 
coast service in North Carolina, went to Virginia. Early in 
1862 was part of Branch's Brigade, afterwards to the close of 
the war, Lane's. 

After seeing some service in the Valley, from the battle of 
Hanover Court House, (called by some "Slash Church"), to 
the surrender at Appomattox, it was a portion of General Lee's 
Army of Northern Virginia. 

This regiment fought not less than thirty-five (35) bat- 
tles, besides double that number of skirmishes; was in both 
the Maryland and Pennsylvania campaigns, forded the Poto- 
mac five times, and crossed it once on a pontoon, and was "in 
at the death," when the Southern Star of victory went down 
in a sea of bloodj in the gloom of defeat at Appomattox. 

Such is the history, in brief, of the Eighteenth North 
Carolina Regiment. A great many of the scenes described 
I have drawn from data obtained from comrades years ago. 
A great many have faded from my ^memory. Yet while I 
was not a participant in all or indeed in many of the battles 
and stirring scenes of those troublous times, yet I am sure 
this hastily written sketch, imperfect as it is, faithfully re- 
cords the history of the Eighteenth North Carolina Regi- 
ment in the substance of its work and in all its essential par- 

It is only intended, as I understand it, to furnish data 
for the future North Carolina historian, when he comes to do 
his State justice, by a faithful and impartial record of its 
soldiers' sufferings, privations, toil and victories, in that 
bloody drama. 

If these lines will thus aid the future writer of the deeds 
and heroism of the North Carolina soldier, I feel that the 
task assigned me is accomplished, and that I have contributed 

78 North Carolina Teoops, 1861-65. 

my part towards its future History, even though hastily and 
imperfectly done. 

Certain it is, that North Carolina has no cause to feel 
ashamed of the part her soldiers took, and while we detract 
from none but want all to have the credit to which they are 
justly entitled, yet let justice be done to the State that had 
more soldiers in active service at the front, than there were 
voters in the entire State. 

Thomas H. Sutton. 
Private Company I. 

Faybtteville, N. C, 

April 9, 1901. 


1. Sol. WilliamB, Colonel. 3. Randolph H. Reese, Captain, Co. H. 

2. Geo. Pettigrew Bi'yan, Captain, Co. G. 4. James N. Turner, Captain, Co. D. 

5. W. A. Graham, Jr., Captain, Co. K. 


(second cavaley. ) 

By W. a. graham, Captain Company K. 

This regiment, with the first eight regiments of infantry, 
the Ninth ISTorth Carolina Regiment (First Cavalry), the 
Tenth Eegiment (First Artillery), and the Thirty-third Eeg- 
iment of infantry, comprised what was originally kno'wn as 
"State Troops." They enlisted "for the war," and the officers, 
both regimental and company, were appointed by the Gov- 
ernor. The volunteers enlisted for twelve months (except 
the Bethel Eegiment — six months) ; their company officers 
were elected by the "rank and file" of the company ; the field 
officers by the commissioned officers of the companies of the 
respective battalions and regiments. In 1862 the right to 
elect company officers was given by law to the State Troops. 
The horses for the privates were furnished by the State to the 
First and Second Cavalry Eegiments. The regiment, except 
Company A, assembled at Kittrell's Springs in August and 
September, 1861. 


S. B. Speuill, Colonel. 

William G. Eobinson, Lieutenant Colonel. 

John W. Woodfin, Major. 

GuiLFOED Nicholson, Adjutant. 

Capt. John S. Hines^ Quartermaster. 

Capt. John W. Mooee, Commissary. 

Smith, Surgeon. 

E. H. Shields, Assistant Surgeon. 
E. P.TucKE, Sergeant Major. 

80 North Carolina Troops, 1861-'65. 

Rogers; Second Lieutenants, George V. Snider and W. P. 

Company B — Iredell County — Captain, C. M. Andrews ; 
First Lieutenant, S. Jay Andrews; Second Lieutenants, 
Eichard W. Allison and James N. Turner. 

Company C — Gates and Hertford Counties — Captain 
John G. Boothe ; First Lieutenant, James M. Wynn ; Second 
Lieutenants, Mills L. Eure and William P. Eoberts. 

Company D — Cumberland County — Captain, James W. 
Strange ; First Lieutenant, T. S. Lutterloh ; Second Lieuten- 
ants, Joseph S. Baker and James F. Williams. 

Company E — Nash, Wilson and Pranhlin Counties — 
Captain, Columbus A. Thomas ; First Lieutenant, J. J. B. 
Vick; Second Lieutenants, Nick M. Harris and Robert W. 

Company F — Guilford County- — Captain Barzillai F. 
Cole; First Lieutenant, R. W. King; Second Lieutenants, 
P. A. Tatum and Nelson. 

Company G — Beaufort County — Captain, Louis E. Sat- 
terthwaite; First Lieutenant, William Satterthwaite ; Sec- 
ond Lieutenants, Samuel S. Whitehurst and George P. 

Company H — Bertie and Northamipton Counties — Cap- 
tain, John Randolph; First Lieutenant, H. B. Hardy; Sec- 
ond Lieutenants, W. H. Newsom and George Bishop. 

Company I — Moore County — Captain, Jesse L. Bryan; 
First Lieutenant, J. L. Arnold; Second Lieutenants, D. 0. 
Bryan and J. S. Eitter. 

Company K — Orange County- — Captain, Josiah Turner, 
Jr. ; First Lieutenant, William A. Graham, Jr, ; Second 
Lieutenants, John P. Lockhart and James V. Moore. 

In October the regiment broke camp. Companies D, E, F, 
I and K, with Colonel, Major and Staff, to Hertford, thence 
to Edenton; the second squadron (Companies B and G), 
Lieutenant-Colonel commanding, to Washington, N". C. ; the 
third squadron (Companies C and H), under Captain 
Boothe, to Neuse River, below ISTew Bern. Company A was 
at Asheville. 

While at Edenton there was mention of arming the five 

Nineteenth Regiment. 81 

companies there with muskets and sending them to Roanoke 
Island as infantry, to remain until relieved by infantry. 
The Colonel favored this, biit the company officers objected, as 
it was putting the men into a different service from that into 
which they had entered, and for an indefinite time. After 
several weeks' "jawing" the idea was abandoned. Major 
Woodfin commanded the Battalion most of the time while at 
Edenton, Colonel Spruill being in attendance upon the State 
(Secession) Convention ; of which he was a member. In De- 
cember the regiment, except the second squadron, was assem- 
bled at ISTew Bern. Company A had come from Asheville, 
the fifth squadron (Companies E and K) received horses 
here, and the whole regiment was now mounted but was not 
armed. Governor Clark complained to the Confederate 
Government on 12th March, 1862, that the regiment had not 
been armed, although it had been in service six months. Win- 
ter quarters were built across the Trent river. These, on the 
evacuation, were occupied by "runaway negroes" and were 
the beginning of the present James City. 

The regiment took part in the battle of New Bern, 14 
March, 1862, Companies A. E and K dismounted, and under 
command of Colonel Z. B. Vance, Twenty-sixth N. C. T. Af- 
ter the battle of New Bern the camp was at "Wise's Fork, five 
miles below Kinston, and for the first time the regiment met 
as a whole. It picketed the roads to New Bern, the first via 
Tuscarora, the second via Dover Swamp and the Third via 
Trenton and near PoUocksville. 

This was the severest service the regiment saw in its his- 
tory. A company of from thirty to sixty men would go 
from twenty to twenty-five miles to the front, establish its 
picket in from a half to a fourth of a mile of those of the 
enemy, who had a "reserve" of several thousand a mile or two 
in their rear, and General Burnside's whole command at New 
Bern, not ten miles from our outpost. For us there was no 
reinforcement, except a few "couriers," in twenty miles. 
Each company in turn had a picket tour of about ten days on 
one of the roads, and frequently the horses were not unsad- 
dled for half that time. It frequently rained nearly every 

82 North Carolina Troops, 1861-65. 

day of the ten. Consequently, three-fourths of the horses 
returned from picket with sore backs. The regiment was 
armed with almost every kind of arms (except the newest pat- 
terns) known to the warrior or sportsman, and was never 
fully equipped with arms of modern warfare until it 
equipped itself with those furnished by the United States 
and taken from its troops in Virginia. 

The writer has taken Company K on picket with thirty-five 
men, armed about as follows: Two Sharp's carbines, six 
Hall's, five Colts' (six-shooters), four Mississippi rifles and 
twelve double-barrelled shotguns, and perhaps a half dozen 
pairs of old one-barrel "horse pistols." There was not ex- 
ceeding twenty cartridge boxes in the company; the others 
carried their ammunition (twenty rounds) in the pockets of 
their clothes and in their "haversacks." Was not this a "for- 
midable array" to place itself within ten miles of the head- 
quarters of thirty thousand men equipped with arms of mod- 
ern pattern ? While the regiment remained here there were 
nearly every week, engagements with the enemy, (1) Captain 
Strange, Company D, near "Ten Mile" house; (2) Captain 
Andrews, Company B, at- Tuscarora ; (3) Captain Boothe, 
Company C, at Mills, in Carteret county ; (4) Lieuten- 
ant W. P. Roberts, Company C, with twenty-five men near 
Pollocksville ; (5) 14 April, Lieutenant-Colonel Robinson, 
with portions of Companies D, E, F, I and K, at Gillet's, in 
Onslow County. The attack was made on horseback against 
infantry in house and in a lot surrounded by a "stake and 
rider" rail fence with a deep ditch on the outside. Lieuten- 
ant-Colonel Robinson was wounded and captured. He never 
returned to the regiment. Captain Turner, Company 
K, was severely wounded and disabled for further ser- 
vice in the field; (6) 13 May, at the White Church, 
near Fescue's, in Jones County, on the Dover Swamp 
road, fourteen miles from ISTew Bern, Lieutenant 
Rogers, with twenty-five men of Company A, and Lieuten- 
ant Graham, with fifteen men of Company K, a total of forty 
men, were attacked by the Third New York Cavalry, a six- 
gun battery and two regiments of infantry. They repelled the 
attack and killed, wounded and captured nearly as many 

Nineteenth Regiment. 83 

as they had engaged in the fight. The road having swampy 
ground on both sides, there was no opportunity for them to 
deploy against us. Our loss 1 killed, 6 wounded, 2 prisoners. 
The troops engaged were complimented in general orders by 
Lieutenant-General Holmes from district headquarters ; also 
by General Robert Ransom, commanding post. Colonel 
Spruill resigned in April. Matthew L. Davis, who was com- 
missioned to succeed him, died in Goldsboro en route to the 
regiment. Colonel Sol. Williams was transferred from 
the Twelfth Infantry to the Second Cavalry 5 June, 1862. 
His Adjutant, Lieutenant John C. Pegram came with him. 
Adjutant Nicholson became Lieutenant of Company A. 


On 4 July, 1862, as First Lieutenant Company K, I was 
in command of the picket on the Dover Swamp road from 
Kinston to New Bern with headquarters at the Merritt House 
and our outpost at the Ten-Mile House. About 11 o'clock 
a. m.. Colonel W. F. Martin, Seventeenth North Carolina 
Troops, and Captain Theodore J. Hughes, formerly Commis- 
sary of the regiment and afterwards Purser of the "Ad- 
Vance" during most of her life as a blockade-runner, arrived, 
carrying communications imder "flag of truce" to General 
Burnside, commanding the United States forces at New 
Bern. I requested Colonel Martin to procure for me per- 
mission to accompany them, and with this expectation took 
command of the escort. I prepared my toilet by taking off 
my coat and pants and whipping them around a sapling to 
get the dust out and with a corn cob and spittle, endeavored 
to "shine" my boots. After dinner (about 12:30 p. m.) we 
started ; a Corporal and two men with a white handkerchief 
on a pole as the "flag of truce" going about three hundred 
yards in front, the escort — about fifteen men- — and the mes- 
sengers following. The advance was halted at Deep Gully, 
nine and a half miles from New Bern, by the Federal out- 
post. This was the week of the "Seven Days' Fights" around 
Richmond. We received our mail for the week by Colonel 
Martin, containing papers giving accounts of the battles; 

84 North Carolina Troops, 1861-'65. 

which, it will be remembered, were all in our favor. Colonel 
Martin had brought several copies with him and we gathered 
what we could before starting, to carry the good news with us. 
"We distributed them among the officers and spoke of any par- 
ticularly favorable item in the papers. After a halt of half an 
hour we mounted an ambulance and Colonel Mix, who was 
to accompany us, informed us that his orders were for us 
to travel blind-folded and requested us to tie our handker- 
chiefs over our eyes. Colonel Martin remarked that he pre- 
ferred for Colonel Mix to tie his as it might come off at 
some time when not desired and have the appearance of his 
acting in bad faith. Captain Hughes and I also adopted the 
same view, and Colonel Mix tied all our handkerchiefs. 

A drive of an hour landed us at General Burnside's head- 
quarters. It was now about half past 4 o'clock. General 
Burnside, after reading papers brought by Colonel Martin, 
asked if we had any newspapers. We told him we 
had given them out at Colonel Mix's headquarters. 
Colonel Mix afterwards came in and General Burnside 
said to him he understood he had some late papers. Colonel 
Mix said "Yes," and hfe would send them in. General Bum- 
side made some remark about not caring particularly about 
it ; which was but a poor attempt to conceal his desire to have 
them speedily. 

General Burnside apologized to lis for our blindfold ride. 
He said: "General Foster was temporarily in command and 
it was by his orders ; that he never required it. If any one 
thought he was ready to attack him after being in his lines he 
was welcome to come on and try it." 

The true condition of matters was that General Burnside 
had been ordered, with Generals Parke and Reno, to rein- 
force ilcClellan in "Virginia. Several regiments, arriving 
from Morehead City during the afternoon, were marched by 
in order to make the impression on us that the troops at ISTew 
Bern were being reinforced. I was surprised to see a good 
many white straw hats worn by the men. General Burnside 
remarked to General Foster, as a regiment passed, that he 
would "make those fellows throw away those straw hats," 
which Foster said he would do. The generals were not as 

Nineteenth Regiment. 85 

courteous to us as the officers of lesser grade had been. They 
seemed to be in bad humor. They had heard from Richmond 
and other news may have accounted for it. 

Sahites on the Fourth of July were being fired frequently. 
General Burnside remarked to me : "I suppose you people do 
not bum any powder on the Fourth of July?" I replied: 
"No, we save it to burn on those who are attempting to de- 
prive us of the privileges of the Fourth of July." 

He remarked to Colonel Martin, that he "had just returned 
from a trip North, and that you could hardly miss the men 
absent in the army. This is not the case with you." Colonel 
Martin replied : "No, and that it seemed to prove what he had 
often heard said, that 'Northern people were staying at home 
and sending the foreigners to do the fighting." General Burn- 
side replied : "Not at all, but it shows the difference in the 
populations of the two sections and the impossibility of the 
South's success. Success would be the worst thing that could 
happen for the South. When I am in a bad humor I wish the 
South would succeed." Colonel Martin replied that he 
"wished he was in a bad humor all the time." About this 
time Generals Foster, Parke and Reno came in. They were 
all in bad temper, and we spent an hour or so "spatting." 
Some one of us, whenever opportimity offered, would relate 
something about the late battles in Virginia. General Burn- 
side expressed himself as in favor of a vigorous prosecution 
of the war, even to the arming of the negroes if necessary to 
success. We were surprised to hear this as General Burnside 
was represented as opposed to negro soldiers. During our 
confab. General Burnside turned to me and said rather 
sharply: "To what command do you belong?" I replied: 
"The Second North Carolina Cavalry." "Yes," says he, "you 
are the fellows who are shooting my pickets. I detest such 
warfare ; if a man wishes to fight let him come out like a man 
and show himself and not creep up like he was hunting a tur- 
key." I replied: "Your men began this mode and now you 
are complaining of it." He replied: "It is not so, and to 
prove it I lose five or six men where you lose one." I answer- 
ed : "That only prQves that our men are the best shots, and 
when they pull the trigger generally bring down the game, 

86 North Carolina Troops, 1861-65. 

while yours miss." He replied: "You do, hey!" witli a 
touch of the "dry grins." I said : "If you do not like this 
style of warfare order your men to stop and ours will." 

We discussed secession, States' rights, Federalism, war, 
ability of the South to maintain the contest, campaigns al- 
ready fought, leaders, etc., etc., but in not a very gentle man- 
ner. Governor Edward Stanly came in for a short while 
and was very courteous. About dusk we were driven in an 
ambulance to the house of the Spotswood family, but now 
used by the United States Army, and placed in a room on the 
second floor to spend the night. 

Supper was furnished us in our room. An hour or so af- 
terwards Governor Stanly called and spent several hours. 
He had recently arrived from California, having been ap- 
pointed "Military Governor" of the State by President Lin- 

Colonel Martin remarked that he was surprised to hear 
General Bumside express himself in favor of arming the ne- 
groes. Governor Stanly replied that he "must be mistaken ; 
that he had frequently talked with General Burnside on the 
subject, and he was as much opposed to it as you or I, and, as 
for myself, whenever it is done I will resign and go whence I 

About the time the "colored troops" were "mustered in" 
Governor Stanly resigned and left the State. I do not 
know, however, that there was any connection between the 
two events. 

After Governor Stanly left we discovered some one was in 
the little room connecting the one we were in with another, 
and the door was pushed a little ajar, as if to hear anything 
we might say. We considered this as a "breach of hospital- 
ity" and expressed ourselves in vigorous language on the sub- 
ject and on Yankees in general, and the experiences of the 
day. If what was gathered from our conversation was re- 
ported it is not published in the Records of the Rebellion. 

On the morning of the 5th, about sunrise, we went across 
the street to breakfast. 

Breakfast over, we got into the ambulance; were again 

Nineteenth Regiment. 87 

blindfolded, and when we saw the light we were at our pickets 
at the Ten-Mile House. 

In August the second squadron (Companies C and K), 
Captain Booth commanding, moved to Hamilton, Martin 
County, to picket the Roanoke river. 

In October the other ten companies, under command of 
Major C. M. Andrews, who had been promoted upon resigna- 
tion of Major Woodfin, moved via Franklin, Va., to join the 
Army of ISTorthern Virginia and camped at Warrenton, Octo- 
ber 12th. Shortly after reaching there a scout of 225 
mounted men and two pieces of artillery was ordered by Lieu- 
tenant-Colonel Payne, Fourth Virginia Cavalry, command- 
ing post. This party, commanded by Major Andrews, moved 
on the 16th via Bristoe Station, Manassas, and to the south 
of Centerville to Gainesville. Here the Major learned that 
a train had passed a short time previous. Pushing on, he 
overtook and captured the train at Hay Market, consisting of 
seven wagons and teams, also thirty-nine prisoners, killed 
three and wounded five Yankees. The regiment remained 
at Warrenton until 1 December, when it moved with the 
army to the vicinity of Fredericksburg. In the battle of 
Fredericksburg, 13 December, the regiment acted with 
other mounted forces in protecting General Lee's right, 
but was not engaged, except as skirmishers. The regi- 
ment was represented in the detail to make the raid under 
General Stuart into Maryland, on 24 December. It was 
assigned 2 December, 1862, to the brigade of General W. H. 
F. Lee, with the Ninth, Tenth, Thirteenth and Fifteenth 
Virginia Regiments of cavalry. It spent the winter in Es- 
sex County, picketing the Rappahannock river from Hazel 
River to Centre Cross. In March it moved to Culpepper 
County, camping between Culpepper Court House and 
Brandy Station. 1 May engaged Stoneman in his raid at 
Stone's Mills. The regiment was commanded by Major An- 
drews from 14 December to 8 May, Colonel Williams being 
detached as president of a court-martial. Major Andrews 
then getting a "sick furlough," Lieutenant-Colonel Payne 
was temporarily assigned to command it. 

The second squadron (Companies C and K) remained at 

88 North Carolina Troops, 1861-'65. 

Hamilton until October. It participated in the attack on 
Washington, 1 September. Captain Boothe was severely 
woimded and not again in active service. While moving to 
join the regiment in Virginia the squadron was ordered into 
camp near the "Halfway House" on the pike between Peters- 
burg and Richmond. It, with Company C, Forty-first North 
Carolina (3d Cav.), formed a battalion, commanded by Cap- 
tain Graham, and built winter quarters on the pike near 
Proctor's creek. The battalion picketed the James Eiver as 
far as Bermuda Hundreds. To it was also assigned the 
duty of picketing the Appomattox for sixty miles above Pe- 
tersburg, to arrest deserters from the Army of Northern Vir- 
ginia. In March, 1863, the squadron, commanded by Cap- 
tain Graham, picketed General Longstreet's left flank 
in his expedition towards Suffolk to secure the hogs 
and cattle from the Albemarle section of North Car- 
olina. While at Drewry's Bluff the squadron was at- 
tached to the commands of Generals Daniel and Elzey, also 
to Colonel Jack Brown, of the Fifty-ninth Georgia. Under 
General Longstreet it picketed the James and Nansemond 
rivers. There were engagements with the enemy at Provi- 
dence Church and Chuckatuck. Captain Moore's Company, 
Sixty-third N. C. (5th Cav.), and Stribling's Virginia Bat- 
tery, mounted, formed a battalion, which Captain Graham 
commanded. It was under Generals Jenkins of South Caro- 
lina, Hood and Pickett during this service. 

May 20 the squadron rejoined the regiment in Culpepper 
County, Virginia. There had been many changes of officers 
in the regiment. The following is a roster at that time : 

EOSTEE 1 JUNE, 1863. 

Sol Williams, Colonel. 

Lieutenant-Colonel (Vacant.) 

Clinton M. Andrews, Major. 

John C. Pegeam, Adjutant. 

A. Smith Joedan, Assistant Quartermaster. 

W. H. Upsiiue, Surgeon. 

Ianson, Assistant Surgeon. 

Nineteenth Regiment. 89 

Ebwaed Joedan^ Sergeant Major. 

OoMANY A — Captain, J. V. B. Rogers ; First Lieutenant, 
W. B. Tidwell; Second Lieutenants, Abram 0. Evans and 
Jacob E. Williams. 

Company B — Captain, S. J. Andrews ; Eirst Lieutenant, 
E. W. Allison; Second Lieutenants, J. IST. Turner and Wil- 
liam A. Luckey. 

Company C — Captain, James M. Wynn; First Lieuten- 
ant, W. P. Roberts; Second Lieutenants, Abram F. Harrell 
and L. R. Cowper. 

Company D — Captain, James W. Strange; First Lieu- 
tenant, Joseph S. Baker; Second Lieutenants, J. A. P. Con- 
oly and John B. Person. 

Company E — Captain, R. W. Atkinson ; First Lieutenant, 
K. H. Winstead ; Second Lieutenants, E. P. Tucke and Eph. 

Company F — Captain, P. A. Tatum; First Lieutenant, 
John G. Blassingame; Second Lieutenants, IST. C. Tucker 
and Holden. 

Company G — Captain, ii. L. Eure; First Lieutenant, G. 
P. Bryan ; Second Lieutenants, W. M. Owens and J. W. Sim- 

Company H — Captain, R. H. Reese ; First Lieutenant, S. 

]Sr. Buxton; Second Lieutenants, F. M. Spivey and ■ 


Company I — Captain, D. 0. Bryan; First Lieutenant, 
Thomas H. Harrington; Second Lieutenants, John C. Baker 
and James A. Cole. 

Company K — Captain, W. A. Graham, Jr. ; First Lieu- 
tenant, John P. Lockhart; Second Lieutenants, A. F. Fau- 
cette and James R. Harris. 

the battle of BEANDY station^ OE FLEETWOOD. 

The regiment participated in the review of the Cavalry 
Corps by General R. E. Lee, Monday, 8 June, 1863, on the 
plain along the railroad between Brandy Station and Cul- 
pepper Court House. Our regiment returned to its camp 

90 North Carolina Troops, 1861-65. 

of the night before, about one mile north of Hon. John Minor 
Botts', near Gilberson's, with orders to go on picket the next 
morning at Fox's Spring, about twenty miles distant on the 
Rappahannock River. On the mornings of the 9th at about 
6 :30 o'clock "boots and saddles" sounded. "Saddle up" was 
the Confederate name for this signal, perhaps due to the fact 
that the boots were generally wanting. I went to headquar- 
ters and Colonel Williams directed me to leave the cooks and 
sore-back horses in camp. Thirty minutes afterwards, "To 
horse — ^lead out" was sounded, and just at its close Colonel 
Williams' orderly came to me with orders to mount every 
man I had. He had received notice of the Federals crossing 
the river in the meantime, but the orderly said nothing of it. 
The regiment was quickly formed, my command being the 
second squadron, Companies C and K, threw me in the rear, 
as we moved off in "column of fours." A quarter of a mile 
distant we entered a road leading towards Beverly Ford, and 
forming platoons imtmediately took the "gallop" which we 
maintained for most of the distance, which miist have been 
considerably over a mile, to the battlefield. Up to this time 
not one-third of the regiment knew that the Federals had 
crossed, or were attempting to cross, at Thompson's or Wel- 
ford's. As we cleared a piece of woods the column headed 
to the left and came in view of the enemy's artillery placed 
between the Dr. Green residence and the river on the Cun- 
ningham farm. Just as our rear squadron turned into the field 
a shell cut off the top of a tree Over our heads, and this was the 
first intimation we had of the presence of the enemy. We 
could see a portion of the Tenth Virginia engaged in the 
direction of the battery. The Nineteenth (Second Cavalry) 
North Carolina passed Dr. Green's house, crossed Euffin's 
Run and took position behind a knoll on which two guns of 
Breathed's battery, "horse artillery," under Lieutenant John- 
son were placed. This soon became engaged with the enemy. 
Colonel Williams formed all the men in the regiment who 
were armed with "long range guns" on foot and went to the 
front where he was soon hotly engaged with the enemy who 
had dismounted and taken position behind a stone wall three 
hundred yards in advance of his battery. After exchanging 


1. W. B. Tidwell, Captain, Co. A. 4. Levi Y. Lockhart, Sergeant, Co. K. 

2. John P. Loukhart, Captain, Co. K. 5. W. A. Curtis, Sergeant. Co. A. 
8. Stephen O. Terry, Sergeant, Co. K. 6. John L. Hall, Private, Co. K. 

Nineteenth Regiment. 91 

shots for a short time, he ordered a charge and captured the 
wall taking eighteen prisoners, besides the killed and 
wounded. In the charge Captain S. Jay Andrews, Company 
B, Iredell County, lost a foot, and Lieutenant J. G. Blassin- 
game, of Columbia, S. C, temporarily in command of Com- 
pany F, was mortally wounded. Our regiment held this po- 
sition with little change, although engaged part of the time 
with Aimes' Brigade of infantry, until 2 p. m. During the 
engagement General W. H. F. Lee, with several of his staff, 
were standing in a few feet of a large hickory tree a few steps 
to the right of one of Lieutenant Johnson's guns, when a 
shell struck the tree and threw pieces of it over them. A fair 
representation of "Company Q," (Quartermaster and his 
cubs) had assembled on the high ground about half a mile in 
owv rear to see the fighting. A well directed shot in their 
direction caused them to seek less conspicuous places for ob- 
servation. About 2 p. m. General Lee withdrew his brigade 
to the right to form connection with Jones and Hampton. 
The Nineteenth North Carolina (Second Cavalry) being on 
the right was placed on the plain which extends to the rail^ 
road and in full view of Fleetwood, General Stuart's head- 
quarters. The Tenth Virginia was next to us and at foot of 
the hills, the Ninth and Thirteenth Virginia were next to the 
enemy. The brigade held the enemy in check until moved to 
near the Orange and Alexandria Eailroad at Fleetwood, on 
account of the advance tlie enemy, which had crossed 
at the Eappahannock bridge and Kelley's Ford, had 
made. Generals Pleasanton and Buford had united their 
forces, which had crossed the Eappahannock at the dif- 
ferent fords, and now Avith combined forces, attacked 
the brigade on the left and were driving the troops in that por- 
tion of the field in some disorder, capturing some of the dis- 
mounted men and threatening the horse artillery. 

About 3 or 3 :30 o'clock the shouts on the left told us that a 
brisk engagement was proceeding! Shortly afterwards Col- 
onel Williams came at full speed towards the regiment, pass- 
ing the Tenth Virginia. I suppose he gave the command, as 
they immediately formed by squadron and started at a gal- 
lop. As soon as he was near enough to our regiment he gave 

92 North Carolina Troops, 1861 -'65. 

command, "Form column by squadron," and placing second 
squadron in front, gave the command "Gallop ; march." As 
we rose the hill we saw the enemy driving the Ninth and 
Thirteenth Virginia in considerable confusion before them, 
in our direction. The Tenth Virginia, when it reached a 
position that it could fire on the enemy without firing into the 
Ninth and Thirteenth, halted and opened fire. Colonel Wil- 
liams gave the command to his regiment "Right oblique," 
and as soon as we had cleared the Tenth Virginia, turning in 
his saddle shouted: "Forward; draw sabre; charge." The 
regiment raised the yell as it went by our stationary and re- 
tiring companions and the scene was immediately changed. 
The Federals were the fleers and the Confederates the pur- 
suers. Our regiment drove the enemy about half a mile back 
upon their reserves of cavalry and infantry, who were posted 
on a hill, while our advance had reached an angle where two 
stone walls came together on an opposite hill, about two hun- 
dred yards distant. This, with a volley from the reserve, 
checked the advance. The leading four were Colonel Wil- 
liams, Sergeant Jordan, Company C ; private Asbell, Com- 
pany K, and the writer. 

DEATH of colonel SOL. WILLIAMS. 

Asbell was felled from his horse with a wound through the 
head almost immediately. Colonel Williams gathered his 
horse to leap the wall, shouting : "Second North Carolina, 
follow me." The writer called to him: "Colonel, we had 
better get a line, they are too strong to take this way." He 
replied : "That will be best ; where is the flag ?" and as we 
turned, it was not flfty yards to our rear. He rode to meet 
it ; halted it and was shouting to the men to fall in, when he 
was shot throug'h the head, and died immediately, his body 
being carried from the fleld by his adjutant, John C, Pegram. 

About this time the enemy enflladed us with a piece of ar- 
tillery, placed half a mile or more to our right, towards the 
river, and down the gorge, at whose head we had formed. This 
caused the regiment to give back a hundred yards or so, keep- 
ing its formation. The Federals charged us, we fired into 

Nineteenth Regiment. 93 

them, and they retired and made no further demonstration. 
In the charge, we relieved a great many of our dismounted 
knen, who had fallen into the hands of the enemy, and also 
a gun of the horse artillery, which went rapidly to the rear, as 
we relieved it of its danger of capture. Any information 
General Pleasanton got of General Lee's movements, must 
have been given him by General Gregg, for Buford never 
pierced W. H. F. Lee's line without being immediately re- 
pulsed, and the brunt of this work, both on foot and mounted, 
was done by the ISTineteenth North Carolina (Second Cav- 
alry), and so acknowledged at the time. Lieutenant P. A. 
Tatum, Company F. (Greensboro, N. G.) who had a disa- 
greement with Lieutenant-Colonel W. H. Payne, Fourth Vir- 
ginia Cavalry, who was temporarily in command of the regi- 
ment a short time before, and had been placed under arrest, 
went into the charge without arms or spurs, and was wounded 
while most gallantly leading his men. The regiment lost 35. 

Colonel Williams had been married but two weeks before 
to Miss Maggie, daughter of Captain Pegram, of the Confed- 
erate Navy, and had returned to camp on Saturday. He 
was beloved by his men ; as brave and true a man as was in 
that army, yet with a gentle, affectionate disposition, almost 
equal to a woman's. Indulgent to his men in camp almost to 
a fault, yet, when duty called and occasion required, he 
proved himself a leader worthy of their admiration. I have 
given this account of the battle of 9 June, 1863, somewhat in 
full that Colonel Williams and his regiment might receive 
some of the credit to which they are entitled. 

Captain Strange, of Company D, Fayetteville, JST. C, who 
was in command after Colonel Williams' death, I know pre- 
pared a report of the part taken by the regiment and submit- 
ted it to the officers before forwarding it to headquarters. In 
"The Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies" 
the Nineteenth N^orth Carolina (Second Cavalry) is hardly 
mentioned in the official reports of this battle. General Stu- 
art says in his report of Colonel Williams : "He was as brave 
as he was efficient." The reports for the Nineteenth North 
Carolina Cavalry are nearly all wanting, and a loss of only 
five is reported, when the loss in my own command was three 

94 North Carolina Troops, ]861-'65. 

times that. The brigade ordnance officer, Captain B. B. 
Turner (Official Kecord, Vol. 11, part II, page 720) says of 
captured arms that "Eeports are all in except the Second 
JSTorth Carolina Cavalry, which is on picket ; none of the other 
regiments captured any." Consequently whatever prisoners, 
whether wounded or not, that fell into the hands of W. H. F. 
Lee's Brigade must have come to our regiment and been its 

Major H. B. McClellan has published a book entitled "The 
Campaigns of Stuart's Cavalry." In this he is very unfair to 
the JSTineteenth North Carolina at Brandy Station. He dis- 
misses it with a statement that Colonel Williams requested 
permission to go into the charge — went in on the 
right of the Ninth Virginia, was shot through the 
head and instantly killed. In making up his narra- 
tive, he says - he got Colonel Beale, of the Ninth Vir- 
ginia, to give him an account of the fight, who informs him 
when he reformed his regiment, and rode forward to recon- 
noiter, to his surprise he found the enemy moving buck to the 
river. Not one word about the Nineteenth North Carolina, 
or how he got an opportunity to reform his regiment. Major 
McClellan does not seem to have considered it necessary to 
consult any member of the North Carolina regiment as to 
the action. 

On that day W. H. F. Lee's Brigade received no assist- 
ance, although Robertson's Cavalry and a portion of Iverson's 
Infantry Brigade came upon the field; they fired 
no gun, and saw no enemy. After sunset we rode 
to a clover field near by, dismounted, and held our 
horses "to graze" until half past nine o'clock, when 
we marched to Fox's Spring, and as the sun rose next 
morning the writer dismounted, having placed pickets on the 
river. The regiment thought this very unjust, as it had 
borne the burden of the fight during the day, but Colonel 
Chambliss, of the Thirteenth Virginia Cavalry, was in com- 
mand of the brigade, and continued through the campaign, 
and I do not suppose there is a member of the Nineteenth 
( Second Cavalry) North Carolina that has a single pleasant 
recollection of his treatment of it during his command. He 

Nineteenth Regiment. 95 

was promoted to Brigadier, and fell at the head of his brigade 
m 1864. His bravery was never questioned, and was dis- 
played on many occasions. It is to be regretted he did not 
add to this, impartiality of treatment to the regiments under 
his com'mand in the Gettysburg campaign. As the regiment 
formed "platoons" on reaching the Beverly Ford road, on 
the morning of the 9th, my negro servant, Edmund, formed 
the officers' servants and colored cooks in line immediately in 
the rear of the regiment and flourishing an old sabre over 
his head, took command of them. As we galloped down the 
road he was shouting to them : "I want no running. Every 
man must do his duty, and stand up to the rack," etc., etc. 
When the shell cut off the tree, as we came in view of the en- 
emy, he and his sable warriors disappeared in every direction 
except the front, and we did not see them for three days. 

That night, 9 June, the regiment, although it had done 
most of -the fighting for the brigade during the day, was 
marched to Fox's Springs to do picket duty, and just as the 
sun rose on the morning of the 10th the pickets took position. 
The Company was not together again until we returned to 
camp on the 14th. At "roll call" I spoke to the men of my 
pride in their action in the battle, mentioning those who had 
especially come under my observation but that all had done 
well and that when rallied in the face of the enemy none had 
been missing but the dead and wounded. As the command 
"break ranks" was given the band at Head Quarters struck 
up the "Old North State." Such cheering, jumping, etc., I 
have seldom witnessed. The mind of each went back over 
the hills and valleys to the home in the old State he loved and 
for which he would willingly die. 

Lieutenant-Colonel Paine was assigned to command the 
regiment. On 16 June we broke camp for the "Get- 
tysburg campaign," first engaged in the movement in Lou- 
don and Fauquier counties to cover General Ewell's advance 
against Winchester. As there was little horse feed in this 
county, the men held their horses by the bridle rein while 
the animals grazed on the clover and orchard grass. This 
was done until we crossed the Potomac, on 28 June. We 
moved via Warrenton and Salem to Middleburg, when 

96 North Carolina Troops, 1861 -'65. 

we struck the enemy on the 18th. Then there was fighting 
every clay, and sometimes nearly all day, for a week or more, 
in the vicinity of Middleburg, Upperville, Goose Creek, 
Union and Paris. The most severe fighting was near Upper- 
ville, on 21 June. The enemy, besides cavalry, had Bar- 
ry's division of infantry. These were placed behind the 
stone walls with which this country was fenced. Except a 
portion of the Tenth Virginia Kegiment, under Major W. B. 
Clement, none of the brigade, nor of Jones' brigade, drawn 
up in sight in our rear a mile or so, gave the Nineteenth North 
Carolina any assistance. It was driven from the field with 
a loss of over half of the men it took into action, either killed 
or wounded. Captain W. P. Roberts, Company C, rallied a 
portion of the regiment and enabled Breathed's Battery, 
which had served most gallantly during the fight, to "limber 
up" and get out ; otherwise it would have been captured. 

Lieutenant Cole, Company I, was killed; Lieutenant 
Bryan, Company G, was wounded and captured. Lieutenant 
Holden, Company F, had his arm broken, but, calling one of 
his men to make him a sling of his handkerchief and place his 
arm in it, continued in the fight. Corporal Stephen 0. Terry, 
Company K, was the last man to leave the field, and emptied 
the five barrels of his Colt's rifie almost alone into the face of 
the advancing enemy. I do not believe there was an engage- 
ment during the war in which a body of troops was more for- 
saken by comrades than the "Second Horse" was on that 
occasion. General Ewell, having captured Winchester, 
General Stuart "scouted" towards the Potomac to see 
that no enemy was left in the rear when he crossed the river. 
He found General Hancock, with Meade's wagon train, on 
the plains of Manassas, but was not able to deprive him of 
any of it, save one cannon and an ambulance. On 27 
June the regiment moved via Fairfax Court House and 
Dranesville to near Leesburg. After placing pickets, about 
sunset, almost in sight of Hancock's rear guard, it retreated 
several miles, and then, going through a pine thicket by an- 
other road, found itself about 10 o'clock p. m. on the bank 
of the Potomac, near Seneca Falls. It forded the river, here 
three-fourths of a mile wide, with water half way up the sad- 

Nineteenth Regiment. 97 

die skirts. The fording was done in single file. On Sunday 
(28th) we moved out near the turnpike from Washington to 
Frederick City. About 2 p. m. we captured 172 of a train of 
175 wagons, with six mules to each wagon, chasing them 
through Rockville to within seven miles of Washington City. 
The capture of this train, perhaps, caused the failure of vic- 
tory at Gettysburg, or perhaps the battle at that point. To 
preserve it hampered and delayed General Stuart's move- 
ments and left General Lee without the cavalry to locate Gen- 
eral Meade's forces. We moved by way of Westminster, Md., 
where we found abundance of rations for man and beast. Af- 
ter filling body and haversack, the depot was burned. On 
the morning of the 30th we passed through Papertown, Va., 
where a large quantity of paper was loaded into some of 
the wagons, and reached Hanover about 10 o'clock. Here 
General Stuart struck Meade's army. He attempted to cut 
his way through. Our brigade was in front. The leading 
regiment, after a short advance, retired in confusion. The 
Nineteenth JSTorth Carolina was then sent forward, and open- 
ed its way into the lines of the eaemj, cutting off a large 
force; but not being supported, they immediately closed in 
their rear. General Stuart sent no reinforcements to them, 
perhaps concluding the task too much for him, and left the 
regiment to its own defense. Hardly thirty men escaped being 
killed or captured. Most of these came out on foot through 
gardens or enclosures which offered protection. Here again 
the Nineteenth North Carolina were the actors, its comrades 
the audience. 

iVfter passing Papertown details were made from each regi- 
ment to impress horses from the citizens. Captain Graham 
had charge of the detail from the Nineteenth North Carolina. 
Gathering what horses he could from the plows, wagons and 
stables in his route, and narrowly escaping capture, he re- 
joined the command after the fight at Hanover. Hanover is 
seventeen miles from Gettysburg. General Stuart was forced 
to make the circuit with his wagons via Carlisle — where he 
burned the United States barracks — to Getttysburg. We 

'98 North Carolina Troops, 1861-'65. 

reached General Lee's lines about sunset on Thursday, 2 July. 
The service on this raid .was very severe. There being 
only three brigades, it required fighting two out of three 
days — the first in advance, the next in rear, and to march 
with the wagons on the third. One hour for rest at 9 a. m. 
and one at 9 p. m. was all the intermission allowed. 

On the morning of 3 July, gathering up the fragments 
left from Hanover and what was available from the wagon 
train. Captain Graham, as officer commanding, had a force 
of forty men. That afternoon, while supporting a section of 
Breathed's Battery, he was wounded. His command took 
part in the charge which occurred soon after and assisted in 
cutting off and capturing a squad of the enemy. The com- 
mand of the regiment devolved upon Lieutenant Jos. Baker, 
Company D. 

I desire to acknowledge my indebtedness to Captain S. N. 
Buxton, Company H, Jackson, N. C, for the account of the 
fight at Hanover, Pa., and to Sergeant W. A. Curtis, Com- 
pany A, for the account of the ten companies while the sec- 
ond squadron was detached. 

W. A. Geaham., 
Captain Company K. 
Machpelah, N. C, 
9 April, 1901. 


1. W. P. Eoberts, Colonel. 3. E. W. Allison, Captain, Co B. 

2. S. N. Buxton, Captain, Co. H. 4. P. A. Tatum, Captain, Co. P. 

5. JuniuB A. Bridges, 23 Lieut., Co. H. 


(second cavalky. ) 


As stated by Major Graham .in his foregoing history of the 
regiment up to Gettysburg, it lost heavily at Hanover, Penn., 
and upon its return' to Virginia it vfas a mere shadov? of its 
former self and an effort was made to reorganize it, but there 
was not much left to reorganize. 

However, Lieutenant-Colonel J. B. Gordon, of the Ninth 
Eegiment (First Cavalry) was made Colonel, but in a short 
time thereafter he was transferred to hisformer regiment as 
Colonel. when-its gallant Colonel, L. S. Baker, was made Brig- 

In August, 1863, 1 was commissioned Captain of Company 
C, vice Captain J. M. Wynns, who had resigned and returned 
to North Cajrolina to raise a battalion of cavalry. After the 
transfer of Colonel Gordon, Major C. M. Andrews, late Cap- 
tain Company B, became Colonel and commanded the regi- 
ment till June, 1864. 

During the remainder of the campaign of 1863, at Jack 
Shops and Brandy Station, in the Bristoe campaign, at War- 
renton. Mine Run and other places, and until its close, the 
gallant little regiment was always in readiness and took its 
place in front whenever called upon to do so. 

During the winter of 1863-'64, it did its full share of 
picket duty on the Rapidan river, and with other detachments 
of the brigade levelled many breastworks thrown up by Gen- 
eral Meade when he crossed that river in November. Also, 
during the winter the regiment was greatly augmented in 
strength and discipline, so that when the campaign of 1864 
opened, it was in fair condition, although numerically much 
smaller than any other regiment of the brigade, because of 

100 North Carolina Troops, 1861-'65. 

its great losses at Hanover, before mentioned, both in prison- 
ers and killed. 

Let me state just here that the regiment never entirely re- 
covered from the blow it received at Hanover. Some of its 
officers and men were exchanged only a few days before the 
advance of General Grant in March, 1865 ; hence its losses 
were smaller than those of the other regiments of the brigade 
as reported at the time ; but I am sure that the loss of the 
Nineteenth was as great, if not greater, than that of any other 
regiment, if numbers are to be considered. 

But to return. In the night attack made by a part of the 
brigade under the command of Colonel W. H. Cheek, of the 
Ninth North Carolina (First Cavalry) in March, the Ninie- 
teenth was part of the attacking column, and did its duty. I 
remember that it was here that Dr. Thomas E. Williams, of 
Clarke County, Virginia, and Surgeon of the Nineteenth 
Regiment, mistook Colonel Dalghren, a Union soldier, for the 
writer and had qiiite a conference with him before he found 
out his mistake. 

I was commissioned Major of the regiment in March, 1864, 
and in May began the Wilderness campaign of General Grant. 

General Sheridan's "On to Richmond" soon followed with 
12,000 horse and horse artillery in abundance, and certainly 
everything looked badly for Richmond, as I thought. But 
our incomparable leader. General Jeb Stuart, at once fol- 
lowed him, and though he lost his great life in the pursuit, yet 
it was his genius and quickness of movement that saved Rich- 
mond on this occasion. 

Among the pursuing columns was that of General J. B. 
Gordon, commanding the North Carolina Brigade, and I beg 
to state here that the South furnished no grander or more 
glorious soldier to the cause of Southern Liberty. Gordon 
was a great favorite of Stuart's ; and when at last Stuart was 
sorely pressed and his squadrons broken, just before his 
death, his last words were: "Would to God, Gordon were 
here." And Gordon, too, received his death wound the day 
after his beloved chief fell. 

In the pursuit of Sheridan, the Nineteenth bore a conspicu- 
ous part, and was more than once complimented on the field 

Nineteenth Regiment. 101 

by General Gordon. Its losses, too, were heavy, and among the 
killed was the gallant Adjutant of the regiment, Lieutenant 
Worth, of Randolph County, who lost his life at the head of 
the regiment while charging a battery well posted and heavily 
protected. The battery was not captured for reasons that 
need not be explained here, but all the same the regiment cov- 
ered itself with imperishable glory, as General Gordon after- 
wards stated to me. 

The regiment was engaged at Todd's Tavern, White Hall, 
Hanover Court House and at Hawes' Shop, and at the last 
place it did splendid service. Upon the latter occasion it was 
in front and made several charges ; I was there disabled by a 
wound in the head, but did not leave the field. The loss of the 
regiment was inconsiderable, but it was here that Lieutenant 
Joseph Baker, of Company D, was either killed or captured, 
and his fate was never afterwards ascertained. 

In the engagement near Hanover Court House in May, 
there occurred one of those unfortunate stampedes which are 
always inexplicable ; but at the time the brigade was a mere 
handful, most of it having gone with General Fitz. Lee to at- 
tack a negro stronghold on the James river. By accident I 
was in comlmand of the regiment when the stampede occurred 
and in the midst of it, when the best officers and men seemed 
to be demoralized, the Color Sergeant of the regiment, Pri- 
vate Ramsey, of Company B, brought his flag to me, as I 
had ordered him to do when he could not rally his men around 
it, and, offering it to me, said: "Major, will you stand by 
the flag?" Everything was then in a perfect rout, myself 
with the rest, and I replied : "Ramsey, d — n the flag ; I don't 
want it ;" but he insisted upon giving me the flag, and said he 
was only obeying orders from me, often repeated. 

His brave words inspired a few, and th« rally was sounded 
and what a moment before seeimed ignominious flight and the 
capture of our entire force, turned out to be victory for us in 
the end. Around the flag a few of us turned and met our 
pursuers, and most of them were captured before they reached 
the Pamunkey river. God bless the brave boy ! I have not 
heard from him since the close of the war, but he was a gallant 

102 North Carolina Troops, 1861-'65. 

soldier upon every field, and carried the flag bravely until it 
and all others went down under "overwhelming numbers and 
resources" at Appomattox. 

The regiment did its full duty at the Davis farm in June, 
and it lost some men, too, but at Black's and White's, on the 
Southside Eailroad a few days after, it eclipsed its record. 
At this place I had command of the regiment, because of the 
sickness of Colonel C. M. Andrews, who insisted that I should 
lead it into action. However, later in the day, Andrews at- 
tempted to rejoin the head of his regiment, but in the at- 
teimpt, was wounded in the thigh and died from the effects of 

This was one of the most satisfactory engagements that 
I witnessed during the war, and the old Second sustained 
its reputation quite manfully. It was ordered to the front 
early in the action, in advance of any other regiment of the 
division, and although pressed hard until darkness closed the 
scene, it held its own against great odds, and even after dark 
many prisoners were captured by it. Upon this occasion it 
was the great right bower of the gallant Ninth North Car- 
olina (First Cavalry) commanded and led by that thrice 
gallant and dashing soldier, Lieutenant-Colonel W. H. H. 
Cowles, and its vigorous attack upon the enemy's flank 
made sure the saving of our guns which were in great 
danger of capture. There was stubborn flghting and 
much individual gallantry shown by some of my men 
during the day, and I remember that Sergeant Nicholas Har- 
rell, of Company C, a perfectly reliable man, informed me at 
the close of the engagement, that during the day he had placed 
hors de combat no less than six of the enemy. The bri- 
gade commander did not witness the action of this regiment, 
nor did I receive an order from him during the day, but he 
got possessed with an idea somehow, or other, that the N inth 
alone was entitled to all praise, and published an order to that 
effect so soon as the brigade returned to camp. I declined to 
have the order read to my men on dress parade, and there was 
friction between the brigade commander and myself, but I 
carried my point in the end. I did not object to his congrat- 

Nineteenth Regiment. 103 

ulating the ISTinth upon its splendid behavior, but I did ob- 
ject to his partiality. 

After the death of Colonel C. M. Andrews, I was commis- 
sioned Colonel of the regiment about the 1st of August, I 
think, and soon after followed the battle of Reams Station, 
brought on by a movement of the Federals to capture and 
hold the Weldon and Petersburg Railroad, on 25 August. 
The bearing of the' Nineteenth there. furnished an inspiration 
to the whole cavalry command, but the division commander in 
his report only refers to the division generally. The fact is, 
the great brunt of the battle, so far as the cavalry participa- 
ted, was borne by the Nineteenth N^orth Carolina and the 
Tenth Virginia, and these two regiments, unsupported, car- 
ried the last of the entrenchments held by the enemy. It was 
just at dark, I remember, and I never witnessed a more splen- 
did charge. Our losses were small, but our captures were great, 
and the old Second Cavalry did splendid work. The command 
captured twice as many prisoners as it had men engaged, 
and the next morning's Richmond papers gave full credit to 
its splendid and heroic service. 

That superb soldier and our chief. General Wade 
Hampton, congratulated me vipon the field and subsequently 
in his official report upon the battle, referred especially to the 
conspicuous gallantry of my regiment. 

At McDowell's farm, on 25 September, the Nineteenth 
took the lead, and captured one officer, a Major, I think, 
and some prisoners. My loss in men was light, but it was 
here that the brave Captain J. N. Turner, of Company B, 
was killed, and his death was a great personal bereavement 
to me. He and I had served as Second Lieutenants together, 
and our relations were very cordial and warm, but there was 
unpleasantness between him and his captain, and he asked to 
be transferred to the Engineer Corps, which was done. After 
I became Colonel of the regiment, he asked me to have him 
sent back to it, and I remember how happy he was when he 
returned. He would come to my quarters every night and 
talk over the war memories of the past. He was commis- 
sioned Captain of his old Company B, but, poor fellow, his 
happiness was short-lived. A few days thereafter he was 

104 North Carolina Troops, 1861-'65. 

shot through the head near me, in this McDowell farm fight, 
his sword in one hand and his hat in the other, cheering on 
his men. Poor, dear Turner, there was no better man or 
more splendid soldier. 

In all the marching and countermarching from the South 
to the JSTorth side of James river, the Nineteenth was always 
in place and participated in every engagement at Jones' 
farm, Gravelly Eun, Hargroves, Boisseau's farm and other 

In one of these engagements, near the White Oak Swamp, 
on the north side of the James river, and where the gallant 
General J. R. Chambliss, of Virginia, lost his life, the regi- 
ment had a close call. The division of General W. H. F. 
Lee was hurried to the front in columns of fours, the Nine- 
teenth being the last of the division. Suddenly I saw the regi- 
ments to my front bear to the right, and immediately thereaf- 
ter came an order from General Lee, borne by Major John 
Lee, of his staff, for the Nineteenth to hurry to the front. The 
command "trot," "gallop," was given, and in a short while I 
reported to the Major-General. My orders were to relieve the 
regiment to my front, the Ninth Virginia, I think it was, and 
he further said to me: "Roberts, you know what to do, but 
the line must be held." 

The entire division was soon withdrawn by some miscar- 
riage of orders, as I afterwards learned, and it was not very 
long before the enemy advanced in great numbers upon my lit- ■ 
tie command, but it stood up against this onslaught as only 
brave men can. At one time the regiment was practically 
surrounded, and its annihilation seemed complete, but in the 
very nick of time up dashed the Ninth North Carolina, led 
by the gallant Colonel W. H. Cheek, who finally responded to 
my wishes and put his regiment where I suggested it should 
be put, and by his action I was enabled to extricate my men. 
But our loss was enormous ; more than thirty ofiicers and men 
killed in a few minutes. Captain L. R. Cowper, of Company 
C, and Captain George P. Bryan, of Company G, were 
among the killed. They were both brave ofiicers and splendid 
soldiers, and their loss was a sad blow to the regiment. Cap- 
tain Cowper and I had left home together — ^had been non- 

Nineteenth Regiment. 105 

commissioned officers together, and he was my personal 
friend ; always jolly and in splendid humor, and ever b^ging 
me to take care of myself if I wished to live ; but always in- 
sisting that no Yankee bullet had ever been molded to carry 
off "Old Cowp," as he called himself, to the "undiscovered 
country from whose bourne no traveller returns." They were 
both brave and gallant men, and died like soldiers with their 
faces to the foe. 

At Wilson's farm, on the Boydton plank road, on 27 Octo- 
ber, 1864, the Nineteenth Regiment was again conspicuous 
for gallantry, and bore its full share of the fight, as it had 
done at Reams, McDowell's Farm, White Oak Swamp, and 
other places. 

In-the great cattle raid in September, 1864, the Nineteenth 
(Second Cavalry) was a part of the command of Gen- 
eral Hampton commanding the expedition, and after 
the herd of cattle, 2,700, had been captured and driven 
from the corral, I received orders from him in per- 
son to bring up the rear. The regiment remained in 
the vicinity of where the cattle were captured for nearly an 
hour after the entire command had been withdrawn, and I at 
once, busied myself in making the necessary disposition of the 
regiment to protect our rear. Very soon the Federal cav- 
alry began to press me and there were a number of mounted 
charges given and received during the day, b\it I was hardly 
pressed and was glad when night came to end the pursuit. 
The day's work was a hard one ; none more so that I remem- 
ber, but I managed to keep my command so well in hand that 
I lost only one or two men, I think, before reaching Belcher's 

The JSTineteenth was at Bellfield on 8 December when 
the Federals under General Warren attempted once more to 
secure the Weldon and Petersburg Railroad, and when the 
rear of Warren's Corps was struck, a squadron of the Nine- 
teenth commanded by Captain A. F. Harrell, made a splendid 
charge and captured some prisoners. 

Soon thereafter the regiment went into winter quarters 
near Bellfield, where it was fairly comfortable during the 
winter, being called out occasionally. During this interval 

106 North Carolina Troops, 1861-65. 

of partial rest I addressed myself to discipline, and there was 
drill and dismounted dress parade every day; but tlie men 
were wearing out, or rather the regiment was, from its great 
work during the previous campaigns, and not much head- 
way was made in filling up our greatly depleted ranks. Yet 
the men were cheerful and apparently happy, and most of 
them enjoyed the winter in their comfortable quarters near 

On 21 February, 1865, I received my commission 
as a Brigadier-General, and was assigned to the command of 
Dearing's Brigade, he having been transferred to the brigade 
of General Eosser. 

The bearing of both officers and men for the most part 
while I commanded the JSTineteenth was all I could wish, and 
there was much individual gallantry displayed by both, but 
time has blunted my memory and I regret that I cannot recall 
the names of all whom I would be glad to mention in this 
sketch, written from memory, after the passage of more than 
thirty years. 

Let me say that in the beginning the regiment did not have 
the same thorough military training that the First Cavalry 
(Ninth ISTorth Carolina) had, as well as other regiments 
commanded by old army officers. Its first commander, 
though a splendid and courteous gentleman, and a brave 
man, was made Colonel for political reasons, and this 
made a great difference. It went to meet the enemy, too, 
poorly armed and equipped. But I am glad to bear tes- 
timony to the fact that in the campaigns from 1863 
to 1865, it was equipped almost entirely by captures from 
the enemy, including bridles and saddles, carbines, pistols, 
swords, canteens, blankets, and every article necessary to a 
thorough equipment of a trooper. 

I believe that the regiment was equal to the best in either 
the brigade, division or corps, and it never failed to respond 
with cheerfulness to any command of mine. There was an 
enthusiastic response to every order of attack — but few lag- 
gards — and the bearing of the regiment on every occasion 
elicited praise from those high in authority. I remem- 
ber once that that courteous gentleman and splendid soldier, 

Nineteenth Regiment. 107 

General W. H. F. Lee, the division commander, said to me : 
"Roberts, I think my division equal, if not superior, to any 
division in the army, but let me tell you that I think I am 
growing a little partial to your regiment, because I feel more 
secure and my sleep is less disturbed vrhen the gallant 'Two 
Horse' is in my front." 

These were his exact words, and it was the most splendid 
compliment ever paid the regiment. I felt especially compli- 
mented when I remembered that there were in the division 
the gallant Ninth North Carolina, the brave Ninth Virginia, 
and other regiments of equal merit, all North Carolinians and 

After my promotion to Brigadier-General that gallant sol- 
dier, Captain James L. Gaines, Assistant Adjutant General 
of the brigade, was commissioned Colonel, and he rode at its 
head during all the trying times around Five Forks until he 
fell dangerously wounded, losing an arm at Chamberlain's 
Run, on 31 March. Under his leadership the regi- 
ment added if possible another star to its already perfect 
wreath. After Gaines was wounded the regiment was com- 
manded by Captain J. P. Lockhart, a gallant officer, formerly 
of my old squadron, Company K. Lockhart, I am told,' led 
it through all the engagements following Chamberlain's Run, 
and under his command the regiment lost none of its prestige 
for gallantry and devotion to duty. 

I distinctly remember that after the battle of Chamber- 
lain's Run, I passed the regiment on the road, and its great 
loss both in splendid officers and gallant men made such an 
impression upon me that I wept like a child. Its losses had 
been so many that I scarcely recognized it. Under Lockhart, it 
kept up its organization until the capture and dispersal of 
General Barringer's Brigade, 3 April. Then what was left of 
it, with some scattering remnants of the other regiments of 
the brigade, reported to me by orders from General Lee, and 
became a part of my brigade until the surrender at Appomat- 

108 NoKTH Carolina Troops, 1861 -'65. 


My brigade was made up of tlie Fifty-ninth JSTortli Caro- 
lina (Fourth Cavalry), the Sixteenth North Carolina battal- 
ion of Cavalry, the Eighth Regiment of Georgia Cavalry, a 
part of the last named regiment being on detached service. 

The Staff Officers assigned to me were as follows : 

Captaijst Theodoeb S. Gabnett, of Virginia, Assistant 

Captaii^ Wm. C. CouGHEH"0"nE, of I^orth Carolina, Inspec- 

Lieutenant Jas. E. Webb, of Alabama, Ordnance Officer. 

Lieutenant W. P. Hoi.combe, of Virginia, Aide-de- 

When I assumed command of the brigade it was 
greatly wanting in organization and discipline, but its 
material was equal to any brigade in both officers and 
men, and it behaved with exceptional gallantry from 
the time our lines were broken at Petersburg until 
we finally surrendered at Appomattox; especially at 
Wamozine Creek, on 3 April, a part of it stood as 
firmly as the immortal 300 at Thermopylse, their bearing 
and splendid courage stemming the tide of a great stampede 
and saving a part of our cavalry from an ignominious flight. 
In fact, the little brigade did more than its share from the 
White Oak road to Appomattox, and on the morning of the 
surrender it was ordered to the front on the right of our lines. 
It faithfully and bravely responded to the last call, and with 
the remnant of the Nineteenth ISTorth Carolina, took the last 
guns captured by the Army of Northern Virginia, and I am 
sure they fired the last shots as well. 

Immediately after the capture of the guns — four Napole- 
ons — the brigade was withdrawn from the field by order of 
General Fitzhugh Lee, commanding the cavalry, disbanded 
and directed by him to return to their homes if they could, 
and I remember that he said that the army had surrendered. 

I remember further that I saw a white flag borne down the 

Nineteenth Regiment. 109 

lines, and I am sure that after that there was no more firing 
from either cannon or small arms. 

I desire to add that I had an efficient and faithful staff. 
Lieutenant Holcomb was disabled on the White Oak road 
near Petersburg about the time our lines were broken. The 
gallant Lieutenant Webb, ever watchful and faithful, re- 
mained with his ordnance train to the last, and Captain 
Coughenour, whose courage was ever conspicuous, was dan- 
gerously wounded near me not far from Jetersville, Va., and 
while delivering to me a message. My Assistant Adjutant- 
General, Captain Theodore S. GarnetL was ever by my side, 
brave to a fault, faithful and loyal, and he was with me to 
the last ; and although a mere boy, his wise counsel and steady 
nerve rendered me valuable service always. 


31 March, 1897. 


1. T. P. Toon, Colonel. 3. John S. Brooks, Lieut.-Colonel. 

3. Nelson Slough, Lieut.-Colonel. 4. P. A. Smith, Captain, Co. A. 

B. C. B. Denson, Captain. Co. E. 


By brigadier-general THOMAS F. TOON. 

I cannot write a history of the Twentieth North Carolina 
Regiment — initiated at Seven Pines, sacrificed at Gettys- 
burg, surrendered at Appomattox — epochs too widely sun- 
dered to be bridged over by consecutive history. I can not 
record all the great sacrifices made, suffering and privation 
borne with unflinching heroism, heroic achievements, bloody 
victories, and grand triumphs — instances of individual dar- 
ing and unswerving fidelity to duty — after a lapse of thirty- 
six years, when so many noble hearts of the Twentieth Regi- 
ment have passed to that shore where wars cease, and no his- 
tory can invade the ever blissful present. So many too anx- 
ious to forget the fitful shadows of that dreata, "too bright to 
last," have sealed their lips and refused to speak How can 
even a sketch be made ? 

I will not attetoipt to make a display of imaginary history, 
embellished by thirty-odd years of afterthought, or supply the 
deficiencies of facts or memory by substituting circum- 
stances which are more pleasing than actual. 

Such facts as I can collect I desire to arrange in some order 
consistent with happenings. I cannot do justice to a single 
brave soldier of the regiment, and can only recollect the 
smallest part of that which ought to be written of the noble 
Twentieth JSTorth Carolina. 

The Twentieth North Carolina Regiment comprised com- 
panies from the counties of Brunswick, Columbus, Cabarrus, 
Duplin and Sampson, stationed at Smithville and Fort Cas- 
well, as follows : 

Captain Jno. S. BeookS;, Brunswick Guards. 
Captain J. B. Stanley^ Columbus Guards ISTo. 1. 

112 North Carolina Troops, 1861-'65. 

Captaijst William H. Toon^ Coluiabus Guards ISTo. 2. 
Captain B. Smith^ Columbus Guards No. 3. 
Captain Nelson Slough^ (a veteran of the Mexican war) 
Cabarrus Guards. 

Captain J. B. Atwell^ Cabarrus Black Boys. 
Captain C. B. Denson, Duplin Greys. 
Captain Uz. Cox, Sampson N"o. 1. 
Captain C. L. Chesnut^ Sampson N"o. 2. 
Captain Alex. Faison^ Sampson N^o. 3. 

18 June, 1861, the organization of the regiment took place 
by the election of: Colonel, Alfred Iverson, of Georgia, Post 
Commandant; Lieutenant Colonel, Frank Faison, of Samp- 
son County, N. C. ; Major, W. H. Toon, of Columbus Coun- 
ty, N. C. ; Adjutant, R. P. James, of Duplin County, IST. C. ; 
Captain Quartermaster, K. S. Harris, of Cabarrus County, 
promoted from Company B ; Captain Commissary, Charles 
McDonald, of Company B ; Surgeon, Dr. J. A. Bizzel, of 
Sampson County; Assistant Surgeons, W. B. Meares, of 
Wilmington, and J. D. Pureell, of Sampson County; 
Chaplains, Kev. J. A. Sprunt, of Sampson County, and Rev. 
L. A. Bickle, of Cabarrus County; Sergeant Major, D. J. 
Broadhurst, of Duplin County. 

The following were the promotions and changes and the 
Field and Staff officers of the regiment : Colonel Alfred Iver- 
son, wounded at Cold Harbor, promoted to Brigadier-General 
in 1863 ; Colonel Thomas F. Toon, wounded at Cold Harbor, 
Chancellorsville, Spottsylvania and Petersburg, promoted to 
Colonel from Captain of Company K, in 1863, and to Briga- 
dier-General in 1864 ; Lieutenant-Colonel Franklin J. Faison, 
killed at Cold Harbor 27 May, 1862 ; Lieutenant-Colonel Wm. 
H. Toon, resigned December, 1862 ; Lieutenant-Colonel Nel- 
son Slough, resigned 26 February, 1863; Major N^elson 
Slough, promoted from Captain of Company A ; Major Jno. 
S. Brooks, promoted from Captain of Company G, 26 Febru- 
ary, 1863, killed at Spottsylvania 12 May, 1864 ; Major D. J. 
DeYane, promoted from Captain of Company I; Adjutant 
J. F. Ireland promoted to Captain Company D; Adjutant 
Ed. S. Moore transferred from Forty-first North Carolina 

Twentieth Regiment. 113 

(Third Cavalry) ; Sergeant Major, Thos. W. Broadliurst, 
Company E ; Quartermaster Sergeant, Jas. H. Benton, Com- 
pany H ; Orderly to Colonel, Jerry M. Kistler, Company C, 
and Benjamin M. Duncan, Company K. 

The Regimental Band was composed as follows : Charles 
Heebner (leader), D. R. Coleman, Henry Giddens, Jesse W. 
Lane, Lewis D. Giddens, John B. Lane, Amos A. Campbell, 
Thomas Stevenson, Marcus Bradley and James C. Benson — 
from the counties of Cabarrus, Sampson and Wayne. These 
faithful men cheered our hearts and beguiled many a weary 
hour, and were kind to many a wounded comrade. It was upon 
the application of D. R. Coleman for a furlough that General 
D. II. Hill endorsed ''shooters before tooters." During the 
fall of 1862 the band played "Dixie" one evening at dress 
parade. The Yankee band on the other side of the river re- 
peated it. The band of the Twentieth played "Yankee Doo- 
dle;" then both bands joined in "Home, Sweet Home." There 
was many a moist eye when the music ceased. 

The Roster of North Carolina Troops gives with some de- 
gree of accuracy the changes in commissioned and non-com- 
missioned officers of each company, and considerable infor- 
mation relative to the killed and wounded, which I do not 
deem necessary to insert here. It is a credit to Worth Caro- 
lina, showing the laudable desire to perpetuate the names and 
deeds of her brave sons, but it is, however, very inaccurate. 

The regiment remained on duty at Smithville (now South- 
port), Fort Caswell and Wilmington, detailed by companies 
or as a whole, until June, 1862. The duties were neither 
dangerous or burdensome, in fact the men of the regiment 
became restless under their inaction and urged to be sent 
where they could take part in the glorious triumphs which 
made famous the Army of Virginia, for they, too, longed to 
snatch from the shock of battle, the clash of resounding arms, 
the sulphurous canopy and din of courageous conflict, 
glimpses of the bright laurels the future historian would 
weave around the ensanguined brow of those who for their 
country "dare to do or die." Whether or not an expression of 
this feeling had any effect in hurrying their departure from 
the peaceful shores of ITorth Carolina I do not know. At any 

114 North Carolina Troops, 1861-65. 

rate we left ISTorth Carolina and arrived at Kichmond a few 
days before the battle of Seven Pines, one thousand and 
twelve strong, rank and file. Placed in Garland's Brigade, 
camping on the Williamsburg road, on 31 May, on the left of 
Williamsburg road, we were initiated into the realities of a 
soldier's life. 

Inspired by Rodes on our right and Anderson supporting 
and protecting our left, the regiment entered into the fight 
with spirit and unfiinching courage. The first man wounded 
was Alonzo Williamson, Company K, the ball passing through 
him and striking T. F. Toon, then Captain of Company K, 
slightly wounding him. W. E. Williamson was also wounded. 
During this fight D. H. Hill's Division did the greater part 
of the fighting, he losing more than one-third of his effective 

The scene around Mechanicsville 26 June, was not such as 
is calculated to cheer raw troops, by any means — dead or 
dying artillery horses, booming cannon, shot, shell burst- 
ing, and some large white eyes, and occasionally some re- 
quests : "Captain, if I am killed, you will find money in my 
left-hand breeches pocket to send my body home," shovdng 
an interesting realization of surrounding circumstances, but 
no fear. 

Gaines' Mill, 27 June, 1862, Corporal Kiah P. Harris, 
Company A ; Alfred Litaker, Company B ; Corporal W. B. 
Collins, Company D ; Corporal Caleb M. Spivey, Company 
D, were killed. Sergeant J. Peterson, Company E; C. C. 
Little, Company G, were wounded. 

Cold Harbor, 28 June — Fought Sykes' regulars. Gar- 
land occupied the left of our line, entered in good order and 
style, charged and captured a battery twice — turned it upon 
the enemy with telling effect. 

I recall the names of Lieutenant-Colonel Prank J. Faison, 
Captain Llenry C. Smith, Lieiitenant Arthur N. Jones, Cal- 
vin Meares, Elisha BuUard, Elias Bullard and others. Com- 
pany C ; Mc Shaw, Donnie Stephens, George S. Eeaves and 
T. T. Melntire, killed. Captain John S. Brooks, Colonel 
Iverson, Captain T. F. Toon and W. D. Cherry, wounded. 

In the Century, Vol. II, "Battles and Leaders of the Civil 

Twentieth Regiment. 115 

War," General S. Garland accords to the Twentieth North 
Carolina the honor of deciding the fate of the day hy this 
charge mid capture. After the various conflicts mentioned 
the regiment returned with the division to camp on the York 
Biver Railroad below Richmond. Left there by General 
Lee to watch the remaining force of McOlellan we joined the 
army on the march against Pope as soon as those troops left 
Westover. In July or August we left camp for the Army of 
Northern Virginia and were engaged watching Porter and 
holding his force in check while the battle of Manassas was 
being fought. 

On 14 September, 1862, was fought the battle of 
South Mountain, or Boonsboro, which General Hill called 
a battle of delusions. When ready to make disposition of his 
small force to disp\ite the passage of the Union army at that 
Thermopylae, he found Garland at the Mountain House. He 
was directed to the summit of the mountain at Fox's Gap, 
his force less than one thousand men. About 9 o'clock he en- 
countered Cox's Division, about three times as many. In 
this battle the Twentieth was unflinchingly suffering from 
the deadly fire of a Union battery. Captain Atwell, of 
Company B, with his skinmishers, killed the commanding 
ofiicer of the battery, but were unable by reason of the char- 
acter of the ground and the force opposed to them to secure 
the guns. In this fight Captain Atwell, of Company B, was 
killed. He was an intelligent, high-toned gentleman, an able 
officer and brave soldier. General Garland's death renders 
the place solemnly historic to our brigade. Captain L. T. 
Hicks, of Company E, says the enemy came within fifteen 
feet before the regiment retreated down the mountain, which 
being so steep the enemy fired over our heads. A part of this 
company, and several from other companies of the Twentieth, 
were separated from the command, during which time their 
rations were green corn from the cob. Captain Hicks, by 
permission, attached this mixed crowd, of which he had as- 
sumed command, to General Hays' troops, and they faithfully 
did their duty as brave soldiers. A pet dog belonging to 
Hays' men was crazed with the noise and confusion of bat- 
tle. A cannon ball cut the top out of a large oak, which in 

116 North Carolina Troops, 1861-'65. 

falling, imprisoned a skulker behind the tree. His cries for 
help were answered by the dog. I never saw a poor man's 
pants torn so badly since. He suffered more than he would 
have had he gone into the fight. At the battle of Sharpsburg 
17 Septetoiber, we were at the Bloody Lane which tells its 
own story. Assisting our commanding general to do all 
he set out to do, worn out with marching, fighting, 
starving and suffering, we re-crossed the Potomac and 
went into camp at Bunker Hill. Leaving Bunker Hill 
30 October, arrived at Upperville 3 November, and 
Front Royal 5 November; waded the Shenandoah at 
night 6 November, heavy snow on the ground ; then operating 
between the forks of the Shenandoah, guarding the passes in 
direction of the enemy, and threatening General McClellan's 
flank and rear 

Tliose friends who so kindly cared for the sick Confederate 
soldiers ought to be remembered wherever they were, but we 
especially ought to thank Mr. G. W. Timberlake, near Win- 
chester, for special service to members of my regiment. While 
sick at his house and threatened with capture by an advanc- 
ing enemy, he risked his own safety to pilot us through a 
mountain road to our army. To her, that noble wife and 
mother of that Christian household, to her sweet child and 
daughter "Evelyn," a sick soldier's heart will ever turn with 
warmest affection and gratitude. Florence Nightingale may 
have more praise, but was never truer or more devoted than 
were these fit representatives of the women of the 
Valley. Leaving the Valley by route indicated above, 
crossed Blue Eidge Mountain, probably at Brown's Gap, 
and marched to Fredericksburg, thence to Port Royal 
at Corbin's farm. We spent the Winter, or part of it, 
resting, eating government rations and luxuries at sut- 
ler's prices when we could afford it, with an occasional box 
from loved ones at home, when that box could thread the in- 
tricacies of transportation then in vogue, and escape the rav- 
ages of hungry employes. On 12 December we began to- 
cook two days' rations and have them in our haversacks to 
move at a moment's warning. Hurrying from camp near 
Port Royal we arrived during the night of 13 Decern- 
cember in front of Fredericksburg. At Hamilton's Cross- 

Twentieth Regiment. 117 

ing our division was held in reserve. The first man woimded 
here was W. H. Enzor, of Company 0., by a shell. My regi- 
ment filled part of the space which was occasioned by Archer's 
repulse. The regiment was commanded by Major Nelson 
Slough. After months of careful preparation and upon a field 
of his own selection, General Burnside was forced to acknowl- 
edge Lee master of the situation. Lee in turn generously gave 
the credit to his brave soldiers and the honor to God. Back 
into Winter quarters again to rest as best we could. Cor- 
bin's farm camp was the scene of some changes in our regi- 

Lieutenant-Colonel W. H. Toon resigned February, 1863. 
Major !N^. Slough, Senior Captain Jno. S. Brooks and Captain 
T. F. Toon, Company K, were ordered before a Board of Ex- 
amination, composed of Colonel Christie, Lieutenant-Colonel 
R. D. Johnston, of the Twenty-third, and Colonel T. M. Gar- 
rett, of the Fifth. Major Slough and Captain Brooks waived 
their rights to promotion and requested the board to recom- 
mend Captain T. F. Toon for Colonel of the regiment. After 
the examination was over, the appointment was accordingly 
made. When this recommendation and appointment was en- 
dorsed by the officers of the regiment, the office was accepted, 
for it was held that the regiment had a right to elect their own 
officers, notwithstanding the effort of the Brigadier-General 
to have one of his own selection appointed. The advice and 
firm support of General A. M. Scales and Colonel Bynum as 
legal advisers are hereby acknowledged in behalf of the of- 
ficers of the regiment. Camp duty, drill, picketing the Rap- 
pahannock and an occasional general inspection, varied with 
snow fights between companies and sometimes regiments, oc- 
cupied the remaining Winter and early Spring days. On 
Wednesday morning, 29 April, we moved from the camp 
near Grace Church to Hamilton's Crossing. 

We remained here until Friday morning, when we began 
to move in the direction of Chaneellorsville ; had a skirmish 
that day; on Saturday morning relieved General Ramseur's 
Brigade, and in doing this came near marching in column 
into the Yankee line, caused by thick woods. A volley of 
small arms and canister from a gun caused us to change our 

118 North Carolina Troops, 186I-'65. 

course to the left. We remained in line until 10 o'clock ; then 
followed the Catharpin road and overtook the division about 
4 p. m. We immediately formed line for that charge which 
made Rodes' Division the recipient of unqualified praise 
from General Jackson, and our regiment favorably mentioned 
by our Brigadier-General. We here occupied the extreme 
left of our line on the left of and at right angles to the plank 
road, with the Twenty-third North Carolina deployed and 
marching by right flank protecting our left. J. J. Pounds, 
Company G, asks that this incident be mentioned. He writes : 
''I started when you took yo^ir cap in your hand, waving it 
and calling on the men to follow you, led the charge. My 
gun got out of order and I ran to you. and reported it. You 
said: 'This is a bad place to be without a gun. Get another 
and go ahead.' Just then George Turner, of Company A, 
found a gun. He gave it to me and I overtook you, still in 
the lead." I remember the circumstances and the brave, in- 
spiring conduct of Jesse Pounds. After the battle rested at 
the Little Church at the forks of the road in rear. We were 
relieved by General A. P. Hill's troops. May 3, about sunrise, 
we moved forward with the second line, and soon became en- 
gaged, owing to our front becoming uncovered. This was fu- 
rious fighting, a perfect storm of shells and a mist of minie 
balls. Here I saw the two Wilsons, of Company F, killed ; 
the brother saving the watch from his brother just killed, falls 
on his body dead ; tmns in birth, twins in death. I received 
one wound early in the morning and before 10 o'clock 
two others, and left the field and regiment in command 
of Lieutenant-Colonel Slough. I was there long enough 
to witness the cool and daring bravery of Lieutenants 
Oliver Williams, Company C, McQueen Coleman, Com- 
pany K ; Lieutenant E. W. Collins, Company D ; Major 
J. S. Brooks, Sergeant Hawes, Corporal M. M. Harrelson, 
McD. Ward, Dan Coleman, George Goodman, Lieutenant 
Arch Laughon, Coimpany F, and many others. Yea, all on 
that battle field deserved honorable memory and mention for 
they stood only where men can be found. In addition to the 
above named Corporal C. A. Patterson, Company A; Cor- 
poral Richard Faulk, Company C ; D. E. Ellis, Company B ; 

Twentieth Regiment. 119 

Josiah Hudson, Company H; Newberne Tew, Company I, 
and Thomas A. Morris, Company K, were placed upon the 
roll of honor. 

The next movement led us to the field of Gettysburg, July 
Ist, 2nd and 3rd, 1863. The reports of the battle give 
twenty-nine killed and ninety-three wounded in the Twen- 
tieth Eegiment. General Iverson reports 500 men of his 
brigade killed, lying in as good order as if on dress parade^ 
Why these men were kept in that position when they could 
only die without being able to inflict injury on the enemy, I 
have been at a loss to understand. Lieutenant Oliver Wil- 
liams says: "I was wounded early in the fight. I believe 
every man who stood up was either killed or wounded." 
itfearly 200 of the regiment were captured, with the colors. 
Captain A. H. Galloway, Forty-fifth North Carolina, recap- 
tured the flag and a number of our men. General Ewell com- 
plimented the troops, who stood till the greater part had fallen 
in line of battle. 

After Gettysburg the regiment was engaged in an affair 
at ITagerstown, while guarding a wagon train. General 
Rodes, in his report for 1863, says: "Those soldiers from 
Georgia, Alabama and North Carolina, who for weeks kept 
their ranks with swollen, bloody and bare feet, are the heroes 
of the campaign." "Camping near Madison Court House in 
July and near Orange Court Hoiise in August, September 
and October, on the Rappahannock river, near Morton's 
Ford. At the latter place, 11 October, a detachment from 
Johnston's brigade, consisting of the Twentieth North Caro- 
lina and five companies of the Twelfth North Carolina, un- 
der Colonel Coleman, the whole under command of Colonel 
T. F. Toon, Twentieth North Carolina, had a very brilliant 
affair with part of Buford's Cavalry. Brigadier General 
Lomax arrived and took command. We repulsed the enemy 
and drove him back across the river. The brigadier was 
pleased to report our part in the affair as worthy of honor- 
able mention. The following names were forwarded as 
worthy to be placed on the roll of honor: Chas. W. Yousts, 
Benjamin F. Blackwelder, Company A ; Paul Faggart, Jno. 
R. Bradford, J. A. Bradford, M. C. Cline, Company B ; Lieu- 

120 North Carolina Troops, 1861-'65. 

tenant Oliver Williams, Company C ; Jno. Killet, Company 
E ; W. J. Gotten, Company F ; William Simmons and A. S. 
Carney, Company G; Ransom G. Hawley, Company H; 
Chas. H. Hall and Sergeant B. A. Brown, Company I. 26 
ISTovember in the trenches at Morton's Ford; 27 ISTovember 
moved out of camp, marched to Lociist Grove, skirmished all 
day. By order from General Johnston I ihrew out two com- 
panies to protect our left, there being a gap be- 
tween our left and General Edward Johnson's right. 
In the Mine Bun affair both sides wasted a great 
deal of powder, but did very little execution. The 
remainder of the Winter was spent at Taylorsville, near 
Hanover Junction, guarding the railroad bridges over the 
ISTorth and South Anna rivers ; we had quite a pleasant time 
at this camp, good country, hospitable people, charming 
young ladies, all conspired to this end. 5 May we started 
to the Wilderness, arriving on the 6th. Supported General 
Gordon in an attack on General Grant's right; sharply en- 
gaged for a short while. Lieutenant B. Watson was killed ; 
General Seymour of the Sixth Army Corps, United States of 
America, was captured. On the 7th marched through dust 
and heat from burning woods ; reached Spottsylvania Court 
House a short time before sunset. About this time our bri- 
gade (General R. D. Johnston's) was placed in General 
Early's Division. On the 8th and 9th unimportant moves 
for position. On the 10th, about 5 o'clock, Johnston's jSTorth 
Carolina Brigade with the other brigades of the division, 
charged to recapture the works taken from General 
Doles by massed lines of the enemy. How we suc- 
ceeded and the credit due my regiment on that oc- 
casion is best shown by General Lee's letter to the Secretary 
of War, a copy of which was sent to my regiment afterwards, 
and which is as follows : 

Aemy Noethekin' Vieginia^ 

May 16, 1864. 
Sie: — Yesterday evening the enemy penetrated a part of 
our line and planted his colors upon the temporary breast- 

•C CO 


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Twentieth Regiment. 121 

works erected by our troops. He was immediately repulsed, 
and among the brave men who met him the Twentieth North 
Carolina, under Colonel T. ¥. Toon, of the brigade, com- 
manded by General R. D. Johnston, captured his flag. It 
was brought to me by Major Jno. S. Brooks, of that regi- 
ment, who received his promotion for gallantry in the battle 
of Chaneellorsville, with the request that it be given to Gov- 
ernor Vance. I take great pleasure in complying with the 
wish of the gallant captors, and respectfully ask that it be 
granted, and that these colors be presented to the State of 
North Carolina as another evidence of the valor and devotion 
that have made her name eminent in the armies of the Con- 

Very respectfully, your obedient servant, 

R. E. Lee, General. 

Hon. Secretary of War, Richmond, Va. 

It is just, in this connection, to bear witness to the daring 
bravery of Brigadier-General Johnston, Lieutenant-Colonel 
Davis, and Major Rob. Alston, of the Twelfth North Caroli- 
,na, in that same charge. On the 11th raining, muddy, disa- 
greeable, under ordinary circumstances, but especially so to a 
soldier with very scanty means of comfort. On the 12th, 
aroused before light, precipitated into the battle before we 
could see; met the successful enemy in the first moments of 
his temporary triumphs, the first volley we fired the sheet of 
flame made doubly visible by the darkness and fog, met that 
of the enemy and lighted up the space between. I can now 
see George Stepps in the mortal combat, with the color-bearer 
of one of the advancing regiments, and Major Jno. S. Brooks 
leap wildly into the air, grasp his side, and fall while urg- 
ing the Twentieth North Carolina to the hottest conflict we 
ever engaged in. We lost no groimd, however, but, with oth- 
ers of our attacking column, regained our breastworks and 
remained fighting until 9 o'clock at night, when we were with- 
drawn. Late that evening. General Johnston was wounded. 
I also received a shot in the leg, after it passed through Lieu- 
tenant George Bullock's coat sleeve without wounding him. 
This, however, disabled me only for a few days. Adjutant 

122 North Carolina Troops, 1861-65. 

E. S. Moore was also wounded. On the 19th we advanced 
against the right of the enemy and had a severe skirmish; 
fell back to our line that night. Our brigade brought up 
the rear. My regiment was rear guard. The reconnois- 
sance in force delayed General Grant for two days and was 
of great benefit to General Lee. On the 20th we moved to 
Hanover Junction, thence with the army to Second Cold Har- 
bor, where we were under artillery fire and some skirmish- 
ing. I was assigned command of Johnston's Brigade 4 June. 
I think about 15 June General Early was detached and 
sent to meet Hunter at Lynchburg. We arrived there 
on the evening of the 18th, skirmished with the enemy. 
I never could see why we did not attack the enemy at once. 
'Next day we pursued the enemy to Liberty, Va. Here 
Bryan White was wounded. In spite of heat and 
dust almost insupportable the troops marched on an ex- 
pedition against Washington down the Valley, Hunter 
having left it open by his retreat in the wrong direction. 
Passing White Sulphur Springs and jSTatural Bridge without 
much time to try the health-giving nature of the one or en- 
joy the beauty and sublimity of the other. 4 July enjoyed 
the public dinner at Harper's Ferry spread by General Weber 
for his command and friends. Fought and defeated General 
Lew Wallace at Monocacy Bridge. This was a hard-fought 
battle on the field in which we were engaged. Guilford Ed- 
wards, one among the best soldiers in the regiment, lost his 
leg here. This, I think, was 9 July. On the 10th, passed 
through Rockville, saw the Dome of the Capitol, and pushed 
the skirmish line, capturing soldiers in long, dress, broad- 
cloth coats. 

One Yankee prisoner said they were counter jumpers, 
clerks in the War Ofiice, hospital rats and stragglers. I know 
one thing, I could have easily taken everything in my front if 
I had been allowed to continue my advance. Major DeVane, 
a gallant spirit, urged me to disregard the order to fall back 
and rush forward, whatever the consequences might be. I 
hated to withdraw, but always tried to obey orders. On the 
night of the 12th, retreated across the Potomac river, bring- 
ing the accumulated proceeds of the campaign in horses, beef 

Twentieth Regiment. 123 

cattle, cannon, etc. For scttne time we destroyed railroads 
and marched a countermarch. 20 July we had an affair 
with Averill and Orook, in which we were literally run 
over. This was near Winchester. I think both retreated 
from the battle field. Parts of August and September eating 
apple butter and doing picket duty, with just enough skir- 
mishing to break the monotony of soldier's life. 19 Septem- 
ber fought the battle of Winchester, and in the battle, al- 
though Early was defeated, Eamseur's division was not. We 
held our own until ordered to retreat. Early in the morning 
the cavalry attacked our pickets. I moved the Twentieth 
North Carolina to their support. Charge after charge were 
repulsed. When closely pressed with cavalry on both flanks, 
I formed a square and retreating in this manner, prevent- 
ed capture, until General Wade Hampton came to my rescue 
by charging in column those on my left and driving them 
back, he enabled me to get my regiment back to the line of 

The "thin gray line" which Bradley Johnston saw on 19 
September, 1864, was the Twentieth North Carolina Eegi- 
ment, a part of Johnston's North Carolina Brigade. 

J. E. Kelly, of Company K, was the hero of the hour. 
When the regiment was formed in a square almost sur- 
rounded, hard pressed, a shell killed the horse of' Colonel 
Toon. He directed Kelly to take charge of his belongings 
on the horse. Kelly at that moment was struck in the shoul- 
der joint, which caused the loss of his right arm, yet he, when 
General Fitzhugh Lee, by a charge on our left, relieved us, 
carried everything, saddle, bridle, blanket, and his own gun 
and accoutrements, to the hospital, all safe. 

J. E. Kelly enlisted from Columbus County, lived in that 
county for years after the war. Raised a large family. Some 
years since moved to Wilmington. Little did the old veterans 
of that patriotic city think that in the breast of that one- 
armed hack driver beat a heart as brave as the bravest; as 
true as tried steel to his beloved Southland. Such was Jas. 
E. Kelly, a Yankee boy; a Southern volunteer; a drummer 
boy hero of many a hard-fought battle. 

October came with its triumphs and defeat in one day. At 

124 North Carolina Troops, 1861-65. 

Cedar Run, Johnston's North Carolina Brigade was the only 
body of organized troops that left the field in order and which 
kept firing in retreat until we reached a bridge over the creek 
blocked up by wagons, ambulances, horses and men. In all 
of the uncertain movements of this army we took part and 
there were none who more faithfully discharged their duty. 
The disparity in number between the armies contending, 
both in infantry and cavalry, was the main cause of the de- 
feat of the Army of the Valley. General Early was not a 
great commander nor a great general, but brave, headlong and 
risky. Leaving the valley we were assigned to picket duty on 
the Roanoke river. We encamped on the premises of Mr. 
House, and between the hospitalities of his house and that of 
Mr. Wyatt (I think that is the name) we spent an enjoyable 
Winter. We returned to Hatcher's Run, skirmished and ate 
shad for a short time. On 25 March was fought the battle of 
Hare's Hill, or Fort Steadman, near Petersburg, Va. My 
regiment led the charge on the works. It was a complete 
surprise, many were killed coming out of their tents by our 
men, using their guns as clubs. Why were we not supported ? 
It was reported to us that as soon as we broke the line Pick- 
ett's Division would support us. 

About 9 o'clock we fell back to our lines after capturing a 
good many prisoners. Adjutant Moore was wounded. Here 
I fought my last battle, being desperately wounded, standing 
on our breastworks rallying our troops to resist an expected 
attack by the enemy. Dr. Schofield, of Petersburg, was kind 
to me. He took me into his own house and my wounds were 
tenderly dressed by soft hands now clasped in praise on the 
other shore. I could not invoke good for myself were I not 
to pray for better for those good people. My regiment re- 
mained to the last and when the news of the surrender was 
promulgated and our skirmishers ordered to halt, Major De- 
Vane said : "I liated to stop just then, for I was driving the 
Yankee skirmishers like sheep." On 9 April, at Appomat- 
tox, hostilities ceased and the Twentieth Regiment laid down 
their arms by order of their chieftain- — R. E. Lee. We 
fought not for slavery. Our rights were denied us. Slavery 
was only one of the many aggravating circumstances which 

Twentieth Regiment. 125 

precipitated hostilities. Those who make history ought to 
interpret their own acts and be considered the best authority 
as to what is history. 

The sharpshooters from the regiment deserve especial men- 
tion, and acting as a separate command justice requires it. 
Under Plato Durham, Benj. Robinson, R. A. Smith, Oliver 
Williams and McQueen Coleman, this corps did splendid ser- 
vice, and was the most important arm of the service. Some 
one belonging to this corps ought to write its history, and here 
I will couple the name of Fred. D. Bryan with this request, 
hoping he will do justice to this gallant corps. Mr. Bryan, 
having passed through all of these scenes of conflict, can re- 
call its history. 

Imperfect as this sketch must be, I will close it, acknowl- 
edging favors and help from the following soldiers, partici- 
pants in the services of the Twentieth North Carolina : Rev. 
Captain D. K. Bennett, Company G, who has passed over the 
river since writing me on the subject ; Lieutenant Oliver Wil- 
liams, Fair Bluff, IST. C, a veteran of the sharpshooters corps ; 
Fred D. Bryan, Marion, S. C, the beardless boy, the daunt- 
less hero of the same corps ; Edwin S. Moore, Selma, N. C, 
Adjutant of the regiment; Captain Louis Hicks, Faisons, 
N. C, a quiet, faithful soldier and a good friend ; Rev. J. 
Soles (Thirty-sixth North Carolina), Mount Tabor, JST. C. ; 
Jesse J. Pounds, Company G, Hamlet, IST. C. His company 
ought to remember him with gratitude. Out of nearly fifty 
letters written to some members of each company composing 
the regiment these are all to which replies have been re- 

The following brief me;ntion may not be amiss: 

Thomas Fentress Toon was born in Columbus County N. 
C, 10 June, 1840. Son of Anthony F. Toon, Esq., of Irish 
and Welsh extraction, and Mary McMillan Toon, daughter of 
Ronald McMillan, of Scotland. 20 May, 1861, he enlisted 
as a private in Columbus Guards 'No. 2, a company raised by 
his half brother. Captain William H. Toon, who was after- 
wards Major and Lieutenant-Colonel of the Twentieth JSTorth 
Carolina. After enlistment he returned to Wake Forest Col- 
lege and graduated June, 1861. June 17, 1861, elected First 

126 North Carolina Troops, 1861-'65. 

Lieutenant of his company. July 22, 1861, elected Captain of 
his company, vice Captain W. H. Toon elected Major. 26 
February, 1863, elected Colonel of the Twentieth Kegiment. 
31 May, 1864, appointed Brigadier-General, and 4 June 
assigned to command of Johnston's JSTorth Carolina Brigade. 
He followed the fortunes of Lee, Jackson, Gordon, Early 
and Ewell in all important engagements, unless deterred by 
some of the five wounds received in battle. Lived in Robe- 
son County, ]Sr. C, from 1891 until elected State Superin- 
tendent of Public Instruction, 1900. 

Lieutenant-Colonel Nelson Slough was a veteran of the 
Mexican War, First Lieutenant January, 1847, honorably 
discharged Y August, 1848. He was severely wounded in 
the leg, the etfects of which were evident in his halting step. 
When North Carolina called for troops he promptly raised 
a Company in Cabarrus County and offered his services for 
her defence. When the Tenth Volunteers was organized, 
which regiment was afterwards changed to Twentieth North 
Carolina Troops, Captain N. Slough was given the post of 
honor as Company A. He followed the fortunes, of the regi- 
ment ably and faithfully discharging his duty ; beloved by his 
men and respected by his fellow officers for his generous, 
genial, and gentlemanly deportment and for his unflinching 
bravery in battle. 

He was promoted to Major of the regiment, afterwards ■ to 
Lieutenant-Colonel, and resigned on account of wounds and 
failing health 2 Novejnber, 1863. He was afterwards sheriff 
of his county for many years ; popular, beloved, and respected. 

To those who knew Colonel Slough, I would say "now that 
is to say simply for instance" I know no braver soldier or 
more faithful officer than this hero of two wars. He died 
at the residence of his daughter in Anderson, S. C. in 1900. 

John S. Brooks, Captain Company G, born in Greenville, 
Pitt Coimt, N. C, 20 October, 1840, killed 12 May, 1864, 
at Spottsylvania Court House, Va. At the opening of the 
war he raised a company and was elected Captain. 
26 February, 1863, he was promoted to Major and Lieu- 
tenant-Colonel Slough resigning 2 November, 1863, he was 

Twentieth Regiment. 127 

promoted to Lieutenant-Colonel, which position he held at the 
time of his death 

He was signally honored by General Lee on 10 May, 1864, 
as will appear by correspondence published. Loved by all 
who knew him ; honored in death, his dirge was sadly, sweetly 
chanted by his comrade in arms, Brunswick County's Bard, 
Rev. D. K. Bennett. 

JSTames deserving to be written on the same page : Lieuten- 
ant J. H. Dosier and Lieutenant Oliver Mercer, both of Com- 
pany G ; Lieutenant Oliver Williams, Company C, now living 
at Fair Bluff, Columbus County, N. C. 

Thos. r. Toow. 
Kaleigh, N. C, 

9 April, 1901. 


1. Robert F. Hoke, Colonel. 3. John K. Connally, Captain, Co. B. 

2. E. W. Wharton, Captain, Co. E. 4. R. E. Wilson, Captain, Co. P. 

5. L. E. Powers, 2d Lieut., Co. A. 


By major JAMES F. BEALL. 

In writing this brief sketch nothing more than a short out- 
line is intended. A volume would be too small to contain 
all that could be said of this illustrious regiment. Many of 
the facts connected with it and the part it played in the gigan- 
tic struggle for Southern Independence cannot now be writ- 
ten. But it may not be amiss for living witnesses to give 
their testimony; otherwise much that is valuable to history, 
may be lost. 


Early in June, 1861, the Twenty-first ISTorth Carolina Reg- 
iment was organized and mustered into the Confederate ser- 
vice at Danville, Va. W. W. Kirkland was elected Colonel. 
This efficient and accomplished officer, with vigorous efforts, 
brought the regiment to a state of perfection in discipline and 
drill, which was afterwards properly appreciated by those 
of us who became intimately acquainted with the stem reali- 
ties of war. Just prior to the departure of the regiment from 
Danville, it was drawn up into line, with its silken -colors, 
(given by the ladies) waving over them, presenting as fine a 
body of men as one ever beheld — all young and enthusiastic. 
Alas ! how many of those noble forms now lie mouldering in 
the dust — on almost every battlefield from Gettysburg, Pa., 
to New Bern, IST. C. ? . And how many we meet with missing 
limbs and honored scars upon them, telling of death and 
danger dared ! The Twenty-first Regiment was engaged in 
the bloodiest battles of the war — some of the greatest in his- 
tory. It had for its Major-Generals those noble heroes — Ewell, 
Early, Pegram and Ramseur. For its Brigadiers: — Trimble, 


130 North Carolina Troops, 1861-'65. 

Hoke, Godwin and Lewis. Its Field and Staff, Company Of- 
ficers — rank and file — were inferior to none. 


The regiment left Danville 15 July mid cheering and 
waving of handkerchiefs by the ladies, arriving at Richmond 
the same evening; 17 July it was ordered to report to Gen- 
eral Beauregard, at Manassas. While en route to Manassas, 
we had a considerable wreck — caused by the treachery of the 
engineer, who deserted his engine — leaving the train standing 
on the track in the night, where another train soon came crash- 
ing into it, disabling about twenty of the regiment. Without 
further incident, the regiment arrived at Manassas early on 
the morning of the 18th. Immediately the regiment moved 
in double quick time to our position at Mitchell's Eord on 
Bull Run — this being the centre of the Confederate line of 
battle. Here the regiment was vigorously shelled by the 
enemy's batteries, but was not actively engaged. We con- 
tinued to hold the same position on 21 July — ^when the 
first battle of Mansassas was fought and a victory won for 
the Confederates, which electrified the whole country. After 
the rout, we pursued the enemy several miles, thinking we 
were going right into Washington, but were halted and or- 
dered to retrace our steps. 


After this battle, we went into camp on Bull Run, where 
the regiment suffered greatly from sickness. In September 
the regiment was sent to Broad Run Station to recuperate. In 
October it went into winter quarters at Manassas, and there 
Trimble's Brigade was formed of the following regiments, 
viz: Twenty-first Georgia, Twenty-first ISTorth Carolina, 
Fifteenth Alabama, Sixteenth Mississippi. Shortly after- 
wards, the latter regiment was transferred — the Twelfth 
Georgia Regiment taking its place. The Twenty-first Regi- 
ment after doing arduous picket duty all winter, in March 
broke up winter quarters and took up line of march to Gor- 
donsville, Va. From there it was ordered to the Valley of 


Virginia by way of Swift Eun Gap, to report to General 
Jackson, when the immortal "Valley Campaign" was begun, 
which made General Jackson and his command famous. His 
great deeds have been expressed by orator, sung by the poet, 
immortalized in statuary, and emblazoned on canvas. 


On 24 March, 1862, the regiment was engaged at the 
great battle of Winchester where General Banks was badly 
defeated with great loss of men, arms and commissary stores. 
Just previous to the battle, the regiment marched all night, 
lying down just before dawn in the cold dew, to rest, but not 
to sleep. The sun rose fair and bright on the field, soon to 
become crimson with the blood of the bravest hearts. Shortly 
after sun up we were ordered to storm the enemy's position, 
simultaneously with the command on our left. With a wild 
cheer the regiment moved swiftly towards the enemy's line 
behind stone walls, and was met by a most terrific fire of in- 
fantry and grape shot. The regiment moved right on to the 
stone wall, from which the enemy were pouring forth a per- 
fect storm of canister and minie balls from right and left — 
cross-firing upon us. But the glorious old regiment with a 
valor that stands unrivaled, swept everything before it. The 
day was won with the most exalted courage and desperate 
charge. It was a gallant charge and a gallant defense. The 
enemy was completely routed, with great slaughter and driven 
beyond the Potomac. 


The writer was severely wounded and left on the field, and 
the sight which there presented itself can never be forgot- 
ten. Around stood several pieces of artillery deserted by the 
enemy. Many Federals and Confederates lay dead, wounded 
and dying around me. Colonel Kirkland, while waving his 
sword and cheering on his men was shot through the thigh, 
but did not leave the field. Lieutenant-Colonel Pepper lay 
mortally wounded, but still cheering his men on to victory. 
My heart still bleeds when I think of our revered Captain J. 

132 North Carolina Troops, 1861-65. 

0. Hedgecock, who was mortally wounded, pierced by half 
dozen balls or more. A braver or truer man than this young 
lawyer was never sent to the field of battle. He and the gal- 
lant Pepper sleep in the cemetery at Winchester, with many 
of their brave comrades. Peace to their ashes. Company A 
had one officer killed and one wounded — ten men killed and 
eight wounded. The loss of the other companies of the regi- 
iment was proportionately great. I am unable to give the ex- 
act number. 


Never were men more mangled or pierced with so many 
balls. The Confederate and Federal medical staffs were es- 
pecially interested in Captain John W. Beard, Company F, 
who was pierced with eight minie balls — several passing 
through the bowels — ^yet recovery was complete and he served 
through the entire war ; he now lives, a prosperous merchant, 
in the State of Kansas. This conflict, its duration consid- 
ered, and the number engaged, equals or surpasses the blood- 
iest battles of the war. And yet, an eminent biographer in 
describing the movements of General Jackson's Corps, makes 
but one allusion to the North Carolina troops in these few 
words : "Here the Twenty-first North Carolina Kegiment 
lost heavily." When at the same time the Memorial Asso- 
ciation of Winchester, Va., said that their cemetery contained 
graves of more soldiers from North Carolina than from any 
other State, a fact which might be said of almost every bury- 
ing ground in Virginia. Therefore, I hope I will be par- 
doned for going into detail in describing this battle. 


After the battle of Winchester the regiment was marched 
and countermarched up and down the valley many weeks — 
engaging almost daily in combats of no minor importance, 
against great odds. Fought in the battles of Newtown, Har- 
risonburg, and Cross Keys. At the latter place it pleased Gen- 
eral Trimble to compliment Colonel Fulton and the regiment 
for its gallant conduct. After this the regiment crossed over 
the Shenandoah river, engaged in the battle of Port Republic, 

Twenty-First Regiment. 133 

and assisted in sending General Shields down the Luray Val- 
ley, completely routed and demoralized. I have given but a 
poor picture of the series of brilliant victories of this valley 
catapaign, in which the Twenty-first iN'orth Carolina Regi- 
ment left on record, deeds rarely equaled, her banners covered 
with victories, shedding lustre and glory on North Carolina 
and the Southern arms. General Jackson's Corps having 
defeated, in repeated engagements, no less than four Federal 
armies, sweeping down from Port Republic, fell like an ava- 
lanche on General McClellan's right. Then ensued that suc- 
cession of brilliant engagements which resulted in sending 
the enemy under the protection of his gun-boats on the James 
river. In all these engagements the Twenty-first bore a con- 
spicuous part, losing heavily; 9 August, 1862, engaged in 
the sanguinary battle of Cedar Run. In this battle the Fed- 
erals were badly whipped and driven beyond the Rappahan- 
nock. In this fight, the regiment captured two pieces of ar- 
tillery and several flags of the enemy. 


After the fight General Trimble ^made a little speech com- 
plimenting the brigade, in which he said : "Comrades, I feel 
that I am on my way to my home in Maryland." On 18 Au- 
gust, 1862, at Hazel river, the regiment engaged in a short, 
but sanguinary battle. A charge through a thick underbrush 
and marshy swamp, and with great courage, drove the enemy 
from his temporary breastworks. This action on the part of 
the regiment drew forth great praise from General Trimble. 
Though this fight was short, our loss was by no means insig- 
nificant. We then bivouacked on the battle field, which we 
knew how to appreciate, having been almost continually 
marching and fighting for several days. 

IN pope's eeab. 

The next day we received orders to prepare three days' ra- 
tions, and be ready to march at a moment's warning. 20 Au- 
gust, 1862, engaged the enemy on the Rappahannock, crossed 
the river and again encountered him. 22 August, recrossed 

134 North Carolina Troops, 1861-65. 

the river, took up a line of march, passing through Thor- 
oughfare Gap near Manassas and appeared in Pope's rear, 
destroying several trains of cars and immense stores at Man- 
assas. The regiment was engaged in the series of fights called 
■ the Second Manassas and Jackson's Corps withstood for two 
days Pope's entire army, repulsing every attack with heavy 
slaughter. During this fight the Twenty-first Kegiment re-, 
pulsed a half dozen or more of the most tremendous charges 
that were ever volleyed and thundered at the head of mortal 
man. Here we fought face to face with men filled with 
whiskey, determined to crush G-eneral Jackson. 30 August 
engaged the enemy all day until afternoon, then General 
Longstreet came up when Pope's army was driven beyond 
Bull Run. After these engagements the regiment was hors 
de combat. 


The next day, 31st, we went into bivouac and rested all 
day Sunday, saddened by the absence of many, many, of our 
brave and beloved comrades, who had fallen in the series of 
conflicts through which we had just passed. Among those 
who fell was our beloved Colonel, Saunders P. Ful- 
ton, a man who was absolutely without fear, and who evi- 
dently believed he was not to be killed in battle. 1 September 
we took up line of march to Ox Hill, where we again grap- 
pled in a death struggle with our old enemy. When we first 
met them, the Federals seemed greatly surprised and con- 
fused, and the carnage in their ranks was terrible. Here 
Major-General Kearney, of the Federal army, was killed and 
fell into our hands. During this battle a terrific thunder 
storm prevailed, the rain coming down in torrents, making it 
quite difiicult to keep our powder dry. The Federals were 
again overwhelmingly defeated, and hurled into their fortifi- 
cations around Washington. Our loss in this engagement 
was comparatively small. 


After this battle Jackson's Corps took up the line of march 
to Martinsburg, Va., and from this place swept down on 

Twenty-First Regiment. 135 

Harper's Ferry capturing it with its entire garrison, General 
D. H. Miles commanding the garrison. Our loss was al- 
most nothing. After this we made a forced march to Sharps- 
burg, Md., where we arrived 17 September and engaged in 
that brilliant and bloody battle. Although sorely pressed, 
the line of the Twenty-first Kegiment was broken only once 
during that fight. After falling back a short distance and 
reforming, we again charged, repulsing every attack of the 
enemy. Our loss here was considerable. 13 December we 
engaged in the great battle of Fredericksburg and assisted in 
driving and pursuing the enemy into the plains below, who 
had penetrated an interval in our lines near Hamilton's 
Crossing. I believe this was the only charge made by the 
Confederates in this fight. The loss of the enemy in this 
charge was very great, while ours was comparatively small. 
Here it was said that General Lee complimented Colonel 
Hoke who commanded the brigade. At any rate he was made 
Brigadier-General soon after this fight. 


In May, 1863, engaged in the great battle of Chancellors- 
ville, assisting in the attack on General Sedgwick's fiank, 
forcing him into the bend of the Rappahannock river, where 
his whole command would have been captured; but night 
coming on he made his escape across the river. In this fight 
we lost many valuable ofiicers and men. At this time the 
brigade was composed of the following regiments: Sixth, 
Twenty-first, Fifty-fourth, Fifty-seventh North Carolina 
Troops. After this battle our corps, commanded by Gen- 
eral Ewell, who succeeded the lamented Jackson, again took 
up line of march to the Valley of Virginia, where the Twenty- 
first assisted in the capture of Winchester and Martinsburg 
with many thousand prisoners and a great many pieces of 
artillery, many thousand small arms, wagon trains and many 
stores. The loss of the regiment and entire command was 
very small. 


We then passed over the Potomac and went to Little York, 

136 North Carolina Troops, 1861-'65. 

Pa. 1 July the two armies again encountered eacli other, at 
Gettysburg. On this day the regiment assisted in gaining a 
very decided victory over the enemy, driving him back in 
great confusion, through Gettysburg. On the second day we 
made an assault on the enemy's fortified line and failed. 

In the general history which will go down to posterity, of 
course nothing more than a brief and cursory reference can 
or will be made, to the service of any small command. Yet 
it is due this gallant brigade (then Hoke's) as also to those 
who lived not to see the clouds and darkness of other days, 
to refer briefly to the glorious services of as brave a set of 
men as the sun ever shone upon. I will in my feeble way, 
attempt to show how those indomitable patriots demeaned 
themselves amid the wild carnage of that stricken field. The 
impressions of the writer, of that memorable day are not a 
picture of mere fancy, but one of actual experience. Methinks 
I still hear, through the long vista of years, the rolling echo of 
those awful accents of battle. After a lapse of thirty-seven 
years, I recall not without emotion, the incidents of the bat- 
tle which occxirred on that second day at Gettysburg, and 
while life lasts, will cherish my remembrance of the mag- 
nificent courage displayed by our command. 


After lying all day under a July sun, suffering with in- 
tense heat, and continually annoyed by the enemy's sharp- 
shooters from the heights, from sheer desperation, we hailed 
with delight the order to again meet the veteran foe, regard- 
less of his advantage in numbers and position. Really, the 
enemy's artillery, reopening at the going down of the sun, fell 
like music upon our ears. At the time the assault was made, 
the enemy had massed heavily in our front, and placed bat- 
teries in the rear of his own lines, which were used with fear- 
ful effect against us, firing over the heads of his own men. 
The ground we had to pass over was ascending, but the troops 
advanced in double quick time, and with a cheer Avent over 
the rifle pits in advance of the enemy's main line of works, 
killing and capturing a few of them — the greater part taking 

Twenty-First Regiment. 137 

refuge behind the main line of breastworks. Here the iight- 
ing was desperate, but like an unbroken wave, our maddened 
column rushed on, facing a continual stream of fire. After 
charging almost to the enemy's line, ^ve Avere compelled to fall 
back, but only a short distance. The column reformed and 
charged again, but failed to dislodge the enemy. The bri- 
gade held its ground with unyielding determination — ever 
keeping afloat our flag to battle and breeze. 


Four out of five of the color-bearers who dared hold up that 
flag, went down to a heroic death. As often as the flag 
went down it was taken up and flaunted in the face of the 
enemy, holding an impregnable position. The hour was one 
of horror. Amid the incessant roar of cannon, the din of 
musketry, and the glare of bursting shells making the dark- 
ness intermittent — adding awf ulness to the scene — the hoarse 
shouts of friend and foe, the piteous cries of wounded and 
dying, one could well imagine, (if it were proper to say it), 
that "war is hell." Further effort being useless, we were 
ordered to fall back a short distance imder cover. To re- 
main was certain capture, to retreat was almost certain 
death. Few, except the wounded and dead, were left 
behind. Here, these brave North Carolinians "stood, 
few and faint, but fearless still." The enemy did not follow 
or show any disposition to leave their defences. 


Our loss in officers and men was great. All the field offi- 
cers of the Twenty-first were killed and wounded except Col- 
onel W. W. Kirkland, who was after this fight, promoted to 
Brigadier-General. Here the lamented Colonel Isaac E. 
Avery, commanding the brigade, laid down his noble life on 
the altar of his country's freedom. Lieutenant-Colonel Ran- 
kin was badly wounded and left in the hands of the enemy, 
where he remained a prisoner throughout the war. It is re- 
corded in Vol. 125, Official Records Umon and Confederate 
Armies, that Private Oliver P. Rood was awarded 

138 North Caeolina Troops, 1861-65. 

a medal for conspicuous bravery in capturing a flag 
of the Twenty first North Carolina Kegiment in a charge 
on our lines at Gettysburg 3 July. As I have just 
stated above, a most frightful and determined conflict 
raged on the night of the 2nd. The ground was strewn 
with dead and wounded. Man after man went down, 
among them Major Alexander Miller, who picked up the flag 
after the first color-bearer fell. He soon shared the fate of 
the former. It was soon taken up by J. W. Bennett, Com- 
pany F, who was, also, in quick succession, shot down. The 
colors were then taken by the writer and very soon after this, 
we fell back to the works, which we had just passed over a 
few paces and continued such a terrific fire upon the enemy, 
that their rifle fire was completely silenced, the enemy crouch- 
ing behind their works. About this time Corporal Eli Wiley, 
Company M, asked permission to take the fiag, saying he 
did not see it when it fell. It was given to him and after the 
writer had gone a few paces along the line, orders were given 
to retire at once, which was accomplished under a severe fusil- 
lade. We had retreated about twenty-five yards when I saw 
the flag for the last time. Corporal Wiley was killed, and 
left, together with the flag, in the lines of the enemy. In the 
darkness and confusion the flag was not missed until we had 
rallied under cover about the distance of two hundred yards. 
The enemy did not follow, or show any disposition to do so, 
as stated above. Soon all firing ceased and the battle was 
ended. This was 2 July, and as Private Kood claims to 
have captured the fiag in a charge on our lines, 3 July, it is 
evident that he did not capture the fiag in battle at all, as our 
regiment was not engaged after 2 July. Therefore, it is 
conclusive that he picked up the fiag on the battle field on the 
following day, the 3rd, and it is altogether probable that he 
took the flag from the body of the dead hero who had been 
cold and stark in death for many hours. The r-egiment, bri- 
gade or corps, were not at any time charged by the enemy. 
On the other hand, the charging was all done by the Confed- 
erates and we reached Cemetery Heights, taking possession of 
their works, and if the attack had been pressed on our right, 
the enemy could have been prevented from concentrating upon 

Twenty-First Regiment. 139 

the brigades of Hoke and Hayes, compelling them to retire, 
after having victory in their grasp. Eor details, see Greneral 
Early's report. We do not wish to detract from an antago- 
nist any distinction, but the records should be kept straight. 
4 July we left Gettysburg, our division bringing up the 
rear of Lee's army. Halted at Hagerstown several days, 
then retired across the Potomac. 

THE battle of PLYMOtTTH. 

The regiment was engaged in the memorable battle of Ply- 
mouth, ]Sr. 0., 20 April, 1864, where it successfully assaulted 
the enemy's fortified position, the entire garrison surren- 
dering to Greneral Hoke. The enemy's position here was a 
very strong one, protected by forts and gun boats. About 
dark we were ordered to make an assault upon one of the 
outer forts up to which oiir brigade charged, time after time, 
with persistent courage and stern detenmination. In the 
third attempt the parapet was gained. Here the fighting 
was desperate and at close quarters and deadly — ^waxing 
hotter from beginning to finish. The commander of the fort, 
though mortally wounded, refused to surrender, cursing his 
lieutenant, (who had assumed command), for hoisting the 
white flag and surrendering. 


It was indeed a gallant defense. The Twenty-first Georgia 
and Twenty-first North Carolina Regiments, as at the first of 
the war, again fought side by side in this fierce conflict — 
mingling their voices together in the same deafening yell of 
triumph. Many of them were stricken down on this bloody 
field and many of them sleep in a common grave. In this 
fight ofiicers and men in both regiments, vied with each other 
in deeds of unsurpassed courage. Where all acted as heroes, 
it would seem invidious to make any special mention of 
names, but I must call attention to the distinguished and dar- 
ing courage of Captain James 0. Blackburn, Company G, and 
Private Francis Clinard, Company A. Both fell far in ad- 
vance of our line in making the assault. The command then 

140 North Carolina Troops, 1861-65. 

laid down under arms, in line of battle, among the dead and 
wounded, hearing all night the distressing cries of ^ the 
wounded. Knowing what was before us, we slept but little, 
expecting to make an attack on the main fort near the town 
early the following day. But the Confederate ram, the "Al- 
bemarle," coming down the Eoanoke river, sank or ran off the 
Federal gun boats. Then, after a brief and futile resistance to 
our coanbined land and naval forces, the entire garrison sur- 
rendered unconditionally to General Hoke, who paid the bri- 
gade a handsome tribute by saying: "My men, my confi- 
dent expectations in you have been fully realized in this 


We then made a forced march to New Bern, N. C, and 
after a fierce combat, drove the enemy into his fortifications. 
Then we were hurriedly forwarded to Drewry's Bluff, where 
the regiment again met the veteran foe in another death strug- 
gle. The Federals were badly defeated and sent back to the 
protection of their gun boats on James river. In this bat- 
tle the regiment held its position under very trying circum- 
stances, being flanked both right and left. 


3 July, 1864, engaged in the great battle of Cold Harbor, 
where Grant was repeatedly repulsed with a slaughter never 
equaled. It is said on this occasion he lost 10,000 men. His 
men sullenly refused to renew the charge. At this time the 
writer was in command of the division sharpshooters who 
were a considerable distance in front of our works, the enemy 
making a sharp attack on the skirmish line on our right. 
They began to fall back when General Ramseur rode tip to me 
and said: "Don't fall back, hold your position at all haz- 
ards." He immediately wheeled his horse and left. Just 
then a shell burst directly in front of my horse over a rifle pit, 
killing five men, among them Lieutenant B. Y. Mebane, of 
the Sixth North Carolina Regiment. No braver or truer 
man ever went doAvn in battle. General Kamseur then re- 


1. W. W. Kirkland, Colonel. 4. Alexander Miller, Lieut. -Colonel. 

2. Saunders Fulton, Colonel. B. W. J, Pfohl, Ma,ior. 

3. B. Y. Graves, Ijieut.-Oolonel. 6. James F. Beall, Major. 

7. W. G. Foy, Ist. Lieut, and Adjutant. 

Twenty-First Regiment. 141 

appeared, ordering me to fall back at once. Turning to start 
off his horse tripped and fell, throwing his brave rider who 
rolled over and over in the dust. Horse and man seemed 
to rise together, and went away amidst a storm of 
shot and bursting shell. 18 July, after a forced and very 
tedious march, we met Hunter at Lynchburg, who 
had made his murderous and marauding expedition up the 
valley, where many a fair mansion fell before the incendi- 
ary fire-brand. After a severe skirmish, he fled in the direc- 
tion of Kanawha, W. Va. The regiment lost a few men in 
this fight. 

A stream reddened with blood. 

Then began that memorable march down the valley to 
Washington City. 9 July we engaged the enemy in the 
battle of Monocacy, Md., near a railroad bridge. The en- 
emy being badly defeated, fied to his fortifications around 
Washington. General Gordon, in his report of this battle, 
said : "I desire in this connection, to state a fact of which I 
was an eye witness, and which, for its rare occurrence, and 
the evidence it affords of the sanguinary character of this 
struggle, I consider worthy of official mention. One portion 
of the enemy's second line extended along a branch, from 
which he was driven, leaving many dead and wounded in the 
water and upon its banks. So profuse was the flow of blood 
fr^m the killed and wounded, that it reddened the stream for 
more than one hundred yards below." 


12 July we engaged the enemy in a severe skirmish in 
front of Fort Stephens, retreating the same night. 19 Sep- 
tember engaged the enemy again at Winchester, after they had 
driven back in great confusion the divisions of Gordon and 
Ramseur. At no time during the war was the courage, en- 
durance and discipline of the regiment put to a greater test 
than in this battle. Amid great confusion, it fought with a 
desperation rarely equaled, and by its steadiness, contributed 
largely in preventing a disastrous rout. At no time was its 

142 North Carolina Troops, 1861-65. 

line broken. 20 September engaged tbe enemy at Fisher's 
Hill, where our entire command was driven back in great 
confusion; our division, in this retreat, again bringing up 
the rear. This regiment, in retreating column, fought the 
enemy several days, the enemy pressing us with great vigor 
all the time. In this retreat, the men suffered great fatigue, 
being poorly fed and clad, and miserably shod. They had 
no change of clothes for weeks. 


19 October, 1864, early in the morning, under cover of 
darkness and fog, we succeeded in surprising the enemy, and 
in turning his left flank, capturing many pieces of artillery 
and many prisoners. The enemy fell back in great confu- 
sion, with heavy loss, but being heavily re-enforced, rallied, 
and in turn assumed the offensive, and with overwhelming 
numbers made a most furious assault on the two divisions on 
our left, crushing them in detail. Our division looked help- 
lessly on the terrible struggle — having all that we could at- 
tend to in our own front. 


During this battle, occurred one of the most trying ordeals 
of the writer's life. We were moving on the enemy, when 
the writer met his brother. Captain T. B. Beall, of the Four- 
teenth North Carolina Regiment, coming out desperately 
wounded through the lung, the blood spurting from his breast. 
There wasn't time to give him a word of sympathy, much less 
attention, leaving him as I then thought for the last time in 
this world. He had the good fortune soon after, to meet with 
an ambulance, which took him and the gallant Lieutenant W. 
G. Foy, of the Twenty-first North Carolina Regiment, who 
was also desperately wounded, to the field hospital. They 
received immediate attention, and both finally recovered, but 
were left more or less disabled for life. In this battle fell the 
lamented Eamseur. 

Twenty-First Regiment. 143 


Here I wish to relate the heroic deed of Private Johnson, 
(ambulance driver). General Ramseur was seen to fall, and 
Johnson was ordered by Major Pfohl to go after him, which 
he did under a terrific fire. He succeeded in getting him, 
but was overtaken and captured on the retreat. General Pe- 
gram seeing that the day was lost to the Confederates, ordered 
the division to fall back, saying : "Men, you must do this in 
order — firing as you retreat, for your own and the army's 
safety deonand it." Never was greater heroism displayed by 
both men and officers than in this terrible retreat. Then the 
enemy, maddened by recent defeat, and fiushed with sudden 
victory, with their whole line made a furious assault upon 
our discomfited line, which was driven back in great confu- 
sion. In our futile efforts to stem the tide of battle that 
threatened to overwhelm us, we lost many brave officers and 
men. Among the killed was the heroic Pfohl, commander of 
the regiment. No man ever exhibited in such a time greater 
coolness, skill and bravery, which excited the admiration of 
his men. In this fight near Strasburg, Va., ended our last 
attempt to invade the North by way of the Shenandoah. Af- 
ter this battle, the writer assumed command of the regiment, 
which he had the honor to hold until 24 March, 1865, when 
he was severely wounded at Petersburg in an assault on the 
enemy's lines. 


The command was then sent to Petersburg, went into 
winter quarters on Hatcher's Run, where it remained all win- 
ter, doing very fatiguing picket duty. 16 February, 1865, 
the regiment engaged the enemy in a very fierce combat on 
Hatcher's Run. It was here Captain Byrd Snow fell mortally 
wounded. He was in command of the regiment during this 
fight, as brave and true a soldier as ever drew sword in his 
country's honor. 24 March, 1865, this regiment, the ad- 
vance of the assaulting column, successfully charged the en- 
emy's works between Fort Steadman and Battery No. 10. 
Then turning right and left, captured several pieces of ar- 

144 North Carolina Troops, 186 J -'65. 

tillery and many prisoners. When we were ordered to re- 
treat, the enemy's artillery fire was kept up so continuously, 
it was almost impossible to get Back to our works. However, 
we brought back about all of our regiment except the 
wounded. General Grant in his report, claimed the Confed- 
erate loss was 4,000, but the number of Confederates engaged 
was not much more than half that. 


A few days after this the Army of ISTorthern Virginia re- 
treated from Petersburg, falling back about a hundred miles 
or more, repeatedly giving battle, but finally from sheer ex- 
haustion, surrendered at Appomattox. We did not lose a 
great many killed on this march, but it saddens me to think 
that any had to die, after going through the whole war, and 
when so near the end of it. In this last sad scene of the 
war, the Twenty-first JSTorth Carolina Eegianent furled for- 
ever the flag to which she had added such lustre; to be em- 
balmed in the affectionate remembrance of those who re- 
mained true to the end. 


W. W. KiEKLAND, Colonel commanding, June, 1861, pro- 
moted to Brigadier-General. 

Egbert F. Hoke^ Colonel, promoted to Major-General. 

Gaston Lewis, Colonel, promoted to Brigadier-General. 

S. F. Fulton, Colonel, killed. 

James M. Leach^ Lieutenant-Colonel, resigned. 

W. L. ScoTT^ Lieutenant-Colonel, resigned. 

E.. K. Pepper^ Lieutenant-Colonel, killed. 

B. Y. GeaveSj Lieutenant-Colonel, resigned. 

W. S. Eankin^ Lieutenant-Colonel, prisoner. 

Alexander Miller^ Lieutenant-Colonel, killed. 

J. M. EicHAEDsoN^ Major, resigned. 

W. J. ProHL, Major, killed. 

Jambs F. Beall, Major. 

William Foy^ Adjutant. 

Twenty-First Regiment. 145 

List of Captains of Twenty-fikst North Carolina 
Regiment — J. H. Miller, Captain Company A; R. E. Wil- 
son, Captain Company B ; Byrd Snow, Captain Com- 
pany C ; R. A. Barrow, Captain Company D ; John 
W. Beard, Captain Company F; Thos. B. Gentry, Cap- 
tain Company G; James H. Jones, Captain Company H; 
Matthew C. Moore, Captain Company I ; John L. Pratt, Cap- 
tain Company K ; John E. Gilmer, Captain Company M. 

Note. — The loss of this regiment in killed, wounded and 
dead was at least 75 per cent, from the beginning to the end 
of the war. Forty or more combats and skirmishes of no 
minor importance are not included in this sketch and many 
incidents both instructive and amusing, might be given which 
would extend this paper to a much greater length, but the 
long list of names of wounded and killed speak more elo- 
quently than tongue of the service of this regiment. I have 
avoided speaking of incidents connected with other com- 
mands, but have endeavored to confine myself to the deeds 
of the Twenty-first Regiment only. I have written what I 
saw or knew of my own personal knowledge and from infor- 
mation received from reliable and official sources. 

Special Mention. — Matthew Chamberlain, private, 
Twenty-first North Carolina Regiment, Stokes county, never 
had a furlough, never ^missed a battle in which his regiment 
was engaged, never received a wound. He died in 1896. 
Strange to say there is no report of Company L in 
Moore's Roster. 

The conduct of Lieutenant Logan T. Whitlock, who 
was in command of the sharpshooters at the battle 
of Plymouth, cannot be too highly commended, and 
should not be omitted. It was ascertained that to make an 
assault upon the main fort the command would have to charge 
across a perfectly level and open field, which could not be 
done without great loss. At this critical time, where "to hes- 
itate was to be lost," Whitlock volunteered to reconnoitre 
within the enemies lines. He foiind that he could go into the 


146 North Carolina Troops, l861-'65. 

town and get behind and close up to the enemy's fortifica- 
tions by crawling along the bank of the river. The brigade 
followed Whitlock and his sharpshooters. After coming 
into position, near the fort, the attack was made and with the 
help of the Confederate Earn "Albemarle," the enemy imme- 
diately surrendered. 

I wish to recall another incident worthy of observation of 
all ages. Lieutenant P. A. Oaks lost his arm at Cold Har- 
bor. Some months after, he caane to the regiment at Fisher's 
Hill. When he arrived, the regiment was on the line and 
under fire, and against the appeals of officers and men, he 
persisted in going into the fight. After fighting all the even- 
ing he was finally shot through the left breast. In a month 
or so Oaks was back with his regiment again, saying it was 
too lonesome to stay at home. The night before we engaged 
the enemy in the battles around Richmond, Private H. C. 
Walser, who was less than 18 years old, had his foot and ankle 
badly scalded. He was left in camp, excused by the surgeon, 
but soon after the firing commenced, Walser made his ap- 
pearance bare-footed and went through the whole battle, in 
bamboo briers and mud and water up to his knees. 

In conclusion, I cannot do better than to quote an extract 
from an address made by Colonel Chas. S. Venable, of Gen- 
eral Lee's staff: "Comrades! we need not weave any fable, 
borrowed from Scandinavian lore into the woof of our his- 
tory, to inspire our youth with admiration of glorious deeds 
in freedom's battles done ! In the true history of this Army 
of Northern Virginia which laid down its arms — not con- 
quered, but wearied with victory, you have a record of 
deeds of valor, of unselfish consecration to duty, and faith- 
fulness in death which will teach our sons, and son's sons how 
to die for liberty. Let us see to it that it shall be transmitted 
to them." James F. Be all. 


9 April, 1901. 


1. Samuel 0. James, Captain, Co. D. 4. John W. Miller, Captain, Co. D. 

2. J. H. Miller, Captain, Co. A. 5. L. T. "Whitlock, Ist Lieut., Co. C. 

3. J. E. Gilmer, Captain, Co. M. 6. J. D. McTver, Sergeant, Co. A. 

7. J. O. Blackburn, Captain, Co. G. 


By lieutenant L. E. POWERS, Company A. 


Shields occupied a coinmanding position. He had a six- 
gun battery on a plateau of the mountain that could sweep 
the whole field to the river, and there was no way to approach 
him without coming within its galling range. It was abso- 
lutely necessary that that battery should be silenced, and the 
only way to do so was to walk up to it and take it. With this 
battery in our hands, Jackson made short work of Shields. 
His army was soon routed and nearly all captured, which left 
us with that side of the river clear of foes and in peaceful 
possession of the bridge. Jackson had left nearly all of Ew- 
ell's Division, and perhaps part of the old division, confront- 
ing Fremont, who, as soon as he discovered we were fighting 
Shields, made an attack on Ewell and was repulsed at every 
point. It was in this engagement with Fremont that I saw a 
whole regiment annihilated at a single fire. It was the Sev- 
enth ISTew York, composed of freshly imported Germans who 
could scarcely speak the English language intelligibly. They 
were so foolish as to attempt to march through an open clover 
field to a body of timber within our lines, with no sharp shoot- 
ers in front to locate our position. Two regiments of my 
brigade, the Twenty-first Georgia and Sixteenth Mississippi, 
were posted behind a fence that ran along the edge of this 
woods. There was a large hollow in the clover field just in 
front of our position, behind the fence. -The Germans came 
marching across the clover field in beautiful line, carrying 
their guns at "support arms." The Colonel walking back- 
wards in front of them, seeing that they preserved a perfect 
alignment just as though they were simply drilling. The 
Georgians and Mississippians were lying fiat on the ground, 

148 North Carolina Troops, 1861-65. 

with their guns in the bottom crack of the fence. When the 
Germans got in the hollow above-mentioned, they could not 
be seen ; but when they crossed it and came into view again, 
they were within fifty yards of the fence. Colonel Mercer, 
of the Twenty-first Georgia, who was commanding this de- 
tachment, sent an order down the line that if any man fired 
before he gave orders to fire, he would have him shot. As the 
Germans came up out of the hollow, their flag and that of the 
Georgians exactly confronted each other This gave the Mis- 
sissippians an enfilading, or raking fire. The men had their 
sights drawn and their fingers on the triggers, and in a quiver 
of excitement they saw the Germans coming up out of the 
hollow and waited for the order to fire. Colonel Mercer 
made them hold their fire until they could be seen from their 
feet up. Our men had a full, clear view, a lying down rest 
and an unobstructed range of not more than forty yards. 
When the order "Fire !" rang out from Mercer, a volley from 
a thousand guns sounded in the air, and a thousand bullets 
flew to their deadly work. The poor Germans fell all across 
each other in piles. 


We pushed on up the Valley until we struck the Virginia 
Central Railroad, where we found a lot of trains of cars 
awaiting us. So actively had this march been conducted, 
that not a person along our route knew that Jackson was 
moving until they saw the army marching by. We were packed 
in and on the cars almost like sardines in a box, and went 
whirling through the great Blue Eidge tunnel on to Rich- 
mond, or as near Richmond as it was advisable to go, and 
tumbled out of the cars, straightened out our limbs and took 
up the march for McClellan's rear. 


The battle of Cold Harbor, in which we were engaged the 
next day, 27 June, was a desperate and bloody one. I was 
still serving on the ambulance corps and had heavy work car- 
rying the wounded back to the field hospital, where the field 

Twenty-First Regiment. 149 

Burgeons would dress their wounds or amputate their limhs, 
as might be necessary. One of the finest and most efficient 
surgeons of the whole army was Dr. Tanner, a citizen of Fair- 
fax County, Virginia, who was assigned to our regiment and 
served with it nearly all the war. He had improvised a 
rough table, or couch, with a blanket spread over it, upon 
which we would lay the wounded men, and his quick trained 
eye soon discovered whether amputation was necessary or not. 
With his sleeves rolled up to his shoulders, he stood at that 
table and amputated feet and legs, and hands and arms, 
throwing them on a blanket spread on the ground, until there 
were as many as four men could carry off and bury. It was 
necessary to carry off this blanket full several times during 
the day. Under the influence of chloroform some of the poor 
fellows stormed and swore; some would sing, while others 
would lie still and quiet, as the scalpel and saw did their work. 
* * * This was the opening of a series of desperate and 
bloody battles, known in history as the "Seven Days' Battle," 
between McClellan and Lee, near the city of Richmond, in 
which the former, with a well fortified position and well 
equipped army, vastly outnumbering that of Lee, was driven 
from his fortifications and beaten back to the sheltering pro- 
tection of a strong array of marshaled Fleets and forced to 
abandon the siege of a city he had commenced and conducted 
with so much eclat, lii this series of battles there was so much 
fighting, so much charging and so many thrilling incidents 
and displays of personal and individual courage, that I pass 
over them, not having a sufficiently clear recollection at this 
time to relate them in detail. 


We did not remain long in this camp. In fact, no part of 
the Army of Northern Virginia had much rest at any time 
during the active and bloody year of 1862. The armies of 
Fremont, Banks and Shields, whom we had so roughly han- 
dled in the Valley a short time previous, had been united 
and formed an invading column under the braggart, Pope, 
who declared that the only part of a rebel he had ever seen 
was his back, issuing his orders from headquarters in the sad- 

150 North Carolina Troops, 1861-65. 

die, which would seem to boast, "I am going to do something. 
I am." 


Learning of the advance of this column, we broke camp at 
Gordonsville and marched to meet it, determined that 
Pope should see our faces when we met. We en- 
countered our friend and commissary, Banks, at Cedar 
Mountain, where we were so persistent in present- 
ing our faces to view that this part of Pope's army 
soon presented us a brief view of their backs and disappeared. 
In this battle I obtained the finest view of an en- 
gagement I ever had. Cedar Mountain is an isolated knob 
with a broad, open country all around it. From this elevated 
position we could plainly see the two lines approach, and 
when they opened fire and engaged in deadly strife, how my 
heart ached for the result as I looked upon this living pano- 
rama of war, with the greatest possible anxiety for the suc- 
cess of our men. As long as they stood and fired at each 
other the result was in great dotibt ; but when our men raised 
the "Rebel Yell," and swept down among them in an old- 
fashioned Confederate charge, that settled it. The Federals 
were swept from the field and driven off in confusion, and 
Banks was made to honor another requisition from Jackson 
on his commissary department. 

It having been definitely ascertained that the army of Mc- 
Clellan was being withdrawn from the Peninsula and sent to 
Pope, General Lee began to transfer his army to the fields of 
Northern Virginia again. Jackson began one of his favorite 
movements to turn Pope's flank and get into his rear. To do 
this, we had to make a detour of sixty or seventy miles, sweep- 
ing around close to the foot of the Blue Ridge so as to turn 
his right flanlc. The march was a forced and vigorous one, 
so as to execute the movement before Pope could be apprised 
of our purpose. While marching up a river and about a 
mile from it, a regiment of the enemy crossed over, 
threw out a line of sharpshooters and began to reconnoiter 
our columns. They supposed, no doubt, that it was Mosby 
with his little battalion of bush-whackers, hanging on their 

Twenty-First Regiment. 151 

flanks and annoying them, as was his custom, and they would 
run him off before he could do them any mischief. They 
struck our column at our brigade. We quickly faced into 
line and charged them, running them back to the river, into 
which they plunged precipitately as they came to it. We 
rushed down to the bank and found the river full of Federals, 
struggling to reach the other bank, where many were climbing 
up out of the river. We paid no attention to those in the 
water, it being such a fair and tempting shot at those climb- 
ing the other bank. We were rolling them back in the river 
at a fearful rate when we were ordered to join the column 
and resume the march. We resumed our march and 
pressed forward with all the speed we could make. So rap- 
idly did we move from place to place, always turning up at 
a place entirely unexpected by the enemy, that we were 
known as "Jackson's Foot Cavalry." In fact, we could on 
long marches outmarch the cavalry during the latter part of 
the war.' They cotild ride off from us for the first few days, 
but their horses being thin, would soon become jaded and we 
would overtake them and march on by them in a week's time. 
We made a complete success of turning Pope's flank and 
marched around into his rear. We struck the raih'oad at a 
place called Brandy Station, distant only three or four miles 
from Manassas Junction, at about 11 o'clock at night. We 
had been there but a few minutes when we heard the whistle 
of a train in the direction of Pope's army, and discovered it 
was coming toward us. We tried to tear up a rail from the 
track but did not succeed before the train came thundering 
by. We fired a volley into it as it sped towards Manassas 
Junction. Soon we heard another whistle coming from the 
same direction. This time we succeeded in getting some 
rails up and turned them so as to cause the engine to jump 
the track down a steep embankment. We then moved iip the 
road a short distance, and as it came by we fired a volley into 
it. The engineer pulled the throttle wide open and gave his 
engine all the steam. When it struck the turned rails, it 
jumped clear out from the rails and buried itself in the earth 
at the foot of the embankment. The cars tumbled into piles, 
leaving not more than half the train standing on the track. 

152 North Carolina Troops, 1861-65. 

Soon we heard another whistle, and moving up the road, 
greeted the train with a volley as it passed. The engineer 
did as the other, giving it all the speed he could, out about 
half way through the cars standing on the track, scattering 
them in all directions and doubling up his own train into a 
jumbled mass. Soon we heard the whistle of another train, 
and treating it as we had the others, drove it headlong into 
the mass of wreckage that already encumbered the track. 
This was the last one to come down, and we had three long 
trains piled up in a mass of wreckage on the track. They 
were all long trains of empty box ears, filled up with rough, 
board seats, and were transporting McClellan's troops to 
Pope. The first engine we ditched was called "The Presi- 
dent," and had a very fair picture of President Lincoln 
painted on the steam dome, with one of our bullet holes 
through his head. 

If we had struck the trains going the other way, they woTild 
have been full of troops, and we would have made a big haul 
of prisoners. The first train that succeeded in passing us re- 
ported at the junction, where there was a company of artillery 
that Mosby's gang had fired on it as it passed Brandy Sta- 
tion and they might look out for an attack before day. But 
for this warning, we would have caught the artillerymen in 
their beds. 

My regiment was sent forward to capture the junction, 
which we reached about 1 o'clock in the morning. The artil- 
lerymen, warned by the train that escaped us, had their guns 
loaded with grape shot and canister and were in position wait- 
ing for us. Grape shot are iron balls about the size of mar- 
bles, and a 12-pound gun is loaded with about a half gallon of 
them. Canister is a tin can about the size of a three-po\ind 
tomato can, sealed up full of musket balls loaded into the 
cannon that way. When fired, the can is torn to pieces and 
the bullets scatter out. Marching up to cannon loaded with 
grape and canister is rough medicine, but soldiers some limes 
have to take it. We approached the station as silently and 
stealthily as we could and succeeded in covering behind some 
box cars standing on the track. We were wanting them to 
fire, knowing they would get a shot any way, but we were 

Twenty-First Regiment. 153 

dreading the fire at the same time. They held their fire 
until we got within a hundred yards, but we could not see 
them well enough to shoot them, and they were waiting to see 
us plainly. Finally we made such a noise among the cars 
they thought we were charging, and fired all four of their 
guns. Fortunately for us, their aim in the darkness was 
bad. Their grape shot and bullets went whistling over our 
heads, and no one was hurt. This was the opportuuity we 
were wishing for. Their guns were now empty and we were 
careful not to give them time to load again. With a quick 
dash we were soon among them and made them all prisoners 
before they could reload their guns. Having secured our 
prisoners and arranged for their safe keeping, we laid down 
and slept soundly until next morning. 


The large warehouse full of rations that we had burned 
about six months before, had been rebuilt and was full of 
army supplies, this point being used as Pope's base. It will 
be observed that Jackson, with his corps only, was square in 
the rear of Pope's army, which consisted of the united forces 
of Banks, Fremont and Shields, with heavy reinforcements 
from McClellan's army. All this force was between us and 
the main body of our army. In addition to this, on the other 
side of us and not far off, was the main body of McClellan's 
great army, pressing up from Acquia creek to join Pope. We 
were exactly between these two great armies and completely 
cut off from our friends, and it looked as though they only 
had to move together and crush us with their mighty weight. 
The men as well as the generals knew that our position was 
an extremely critical one, but not one of us had any fears of 
being crushed or captured. That Jackson was with us and 
could lead us out, was felt and expressed. If our friends 
could not reach us before this great anaconda closed around 
us, we knew that Jackson would concentrate his strength on 
some weak point and cut his way through and walk off where 
he pleased. We all felt we were able to do that in a great 
emergency. We filled our haversacks and loaded our wagons 

154 North Carolina Troops, , 1861-'65. 

as well as several others, that we captured at the junction, 
with Federal rations, again drawing on our good commissary, 
Banks, for supplies. We then applied the torch to the re- 
mainder, again burning down Manassas warehouse full of 
provisions. Pope now realizing the situation, began to press 
down upon us with the view of crushing us before Lee could 
send us any assistance. We simply moved out a few miles 
from the junction and took position on a part of the ground 
on which the famous battle of Bull Eun was fought a little 
more than a year previous. The lines, however, were nearly 
at a right angle to those of the previous battle, as we were 
being approched from a different direction. Pope had taken 
the precaution to place a force at each of the mountain passes 
to prevent reinforcements from reaching us, and began to 
press us with his whole army, making the attack on 29 Au- 
gust. This was the famous "Second Battle of Manassas," 
and was one of the most stubbornly fought battles of the war. 
Jackson had only his own corps during this first day's fight to 
withstand the surging mass of Federals that was hurled 
against him. But this he did in true Stonewall style, beating 
them back and holding our position throughout the day. In 
the meantime Longstreet was hastening with all possible 
speed to our assistance, and when he came to the mountain 
gap through which it was necessary for him to pass in order 
to reach us, he did not permit the force guarding it to be any 
obstacle in his way. He simply ran over them with his old 
veterans. He reached us late in the afternoon of the 30th, 
and was beating back Pope's left wing before that General 
knew he had crossed the mountains. On the morning of the 
30th Pope hurled his forces against us with the evident in- 
tention of crushing us before other help could reach us, and 
it is doubtful if he yet knew that Longstreet was there wait- 
ing for him. He (Pope) had still been further reinforced 
from McOlellan's army and, no doubt, felt able to run over 
us. During this day some of the hardest fighting that had 
occurred thus far was had. On one occasion the hostile 
forces met at a railroad fill and fought desperately by throw- 
ing stones across the fill at each other, neither side daring to 
cross it to the other. 

Twenty-First Regiment. 155 

We struck the enemy in a gully, or branch, that ran along 
a hollow. We came to a fence on the ridge about one hundred 
yards distant that seemed to run parallel with the enemy's 
position. We halted at this fence and quickly tore it down 
and piled the rails in front. It offered us good protection, 
where we lay down on the ground. We opened fire on the en- 
emy, but it soon became so dark that we could not see the en- 
enemy's position, but we would fire at the fiashes of their 
guns, as I suppose they would fire at our flashes. We re- 
ceived orders at one time to charge the enemy, and started to 
do so, but did not go many steps before we were ordered to 
halt and lie down again. Our regiment was commanded by 
the gallant Colonel Fulton, of Stokes County. It was during 
this little advance that he fell at my side, falling against me, 
shot through and killed outright. We slept on our arms, 
expecting to renew the battle at daylight, but when morning 
came the Federals were gone. We followed up the retreat- 
ing enemy until he was safely back in the fortifications 
around Washington. General Pope had for once, at least, 
seen the rebels faces and had been forced, very reluctantly, no 
doubt, to show them his back. So great was his mortification 
after all of his intemperate boasting that as soon as he had 
his army safely behind the great fortifications of Washing- 
ton he resigned his commission and we never heard anything 
more of Pope. All the great and well equipped armies 
that had entered Virginia so cheerily in the early Spring, and 
marched on to Richmond, the Confederate Capital, confident 
of its capture, found themselves hurled back and cooped up 
in the fortifications around their own Capital and engaged 
in its defence. 


One the morning of the 15 th, having everything ready, we 
opened a merciless fire upon the doomed garrison. From 
high up, almost over their heads and from every side, came 
the shower of shells pouring in upon them, from which their 
fortifications afforded no protection. In our immediate 
front, the ground was comparatively level, or rather it was not 

156 NoKTH Carolina Troops, 1861-65. 

so mountainous, and on the crest of a ridge the enemy had a 
strong line of entrenchments heavily manned. General Jack- 
son and staff were sitting on their horses near my regiment's 
position, watching the effect of the bombardment. A battery 
of artillery on our right, I think it was Little Lattimore's, 
that was playing on the enemy's line, limbered and galloped 
to the front, took a new position on a hill in two or three 
hundred yards of the enemy and fired as rapidly as I ever 
saw artillery handled in my life. It was, in fact, an ar- 
tillery charge. Presently we saw Jackson turn to his cour- 
iers and speak a few words to them and immediately they 
went galloping off to the different divisions. Our hearts 
trembled. We knew the orders those couriers were carrying. 
It was the order for a general and simultaneous charge all 
along the line. The bristling line of bayonets behind strong 
fortifications, was a dangerous thing to approach and we 
knew that many of us would fall before we could hope to 
scale its ramparts and beat back its defenders. But while 
we were bracing our nerves in solemn dread for the deadly 
encounter, a thing occurred that sent a thrill of joy to every 
heart. On the enemy's works, in plain view, was unfurled 
and fluttered out in the breeze, the white flag of peace. The 
enemy had surrendered. Cheer after cheer rent the air. We 
had now accomplished the object of our recent campaign and 
supposed we would go into camp and have a rest, but to our 
surprise, three days' rations were issued with orders to cook 
them and be ready to march by 2 o'clock. Jackson did not 
even take time to receive the surrender, but left that honor to 
A. P. Hill, and when the sun went down on that victorious 
day we were many miles away retracing our steps over the 
same route we had come. We had been on a forced march 
for some days and in line of battle all the night previous, fre- 
quently shifting from one position to another, so that but lit- 
tle sleep or rest could be obtained and now we had to march 
all night, hastening to join Lee, who was in danger of being 
attacked by the united armies of McClellan. 

Two or three miles from the ford, near a small town called 
Sharpsburg, we found the army in line of battle with the 
sharpshooters of the two armies popping away at each other. 

Twenty-First Regiment. 157 

I soon found my regiment in line, taking what rest and sleep 
they could, while awaiting the attack of the enemy. During 
the remainder of the day there was very little fighting, both 
armies manoeuvering for position. That night we slept on 
our arms in line of battle. We were so exhausted, not having 
camped for three or four days and nights previous, that as 
soon as we could get still we were asleep, depending on the 
sharpshooters in front to apprise us of the approach of the 
enemy. Next morning we repulsed an assault by the enemy 
in heavy force. After waiting for some time and seeing 
no disposition on the part of the enemy to make a fur- 
ther advance upon us, who rather seemed to enjoy standing 
there and shooting at us while we lay still and took it with- 
out molesting them, we concluded to take part in the play. 
We had a decided advantage of position, in that we were 
lying flat behind a fence and could not be seen, while they 
stood upright in the open ground and could be seen from 
their feet up, giving us their full length at which we could 
take deliberate and careful aim. The distance between us 
was about 300 yards, which is close and easy range for the 
good Enfield rifles with which we were now armed. When 
the "Ready" came, every man lying flat on his stomach, with 
the muzzle of his gun through the crack of the fence, took 
careful aim and when the order "Fire" rang out on the air, 
a sheet of flame shot out from the fence up and down its 
entire length, and a line of bullets on the wings of lightning 
sped over the bosom of the fleld on their hurried mission of 
death. When the smoke lifted, which it quickly did, it could 
be plainly seen that the line, so dark and full when our 
fingers pressed the triggers, was now full of long, open gaps, 
and staggering under the shock of the fire. 

Then came the order "Forward, charge !" Over the fence 
we sprang and raising the yell, as the enemy called it, went 
at them with all speed. 

In this charge the Color-Sergeant, whose name was Ryer- 
son, I think, did a heroic thing. I am sorry I cannot be pos- 
itive about his name, as he was a member of another com- 
pany. He ran ahead of the advancing line to within 100 
yards of the enemy's line of battle (which had been rein- 

158 North Carolina Troops, 1801-65. 

forced by a fresh line) and jumping upon a stump, waved tlie 
flag defiantly at the enemy, making himself a most conspicu- 
ous target for their marksmen. Of course, he could not 
have lived many seconds on that stump, but his brilliant 
dash had an inspiring influence on our entire line, which, 
raising the "Rebel Yell," rushed with such impetuosity upon 
the enemy that they were quickly driven from the field and 
the gallant Sergeant, amid the cheers of his comrades, de- 
scended from the stump unharmed. History loves to dwell 
upon the gallant act of Sergeant Jasper, in climbing the flag- 
staff under the enemy's bombardment, and restoring to its 
place the flag that had been shot down at Fort Moultrie, but 
Sergeant Jasper's act was one of prudence and safety, com- 
pared with the rashness and peril of that of Sergeant Kyer- 


On 13 December the enemy opened the battle, moving a 
heavy force against our lines near Hamilton's Crossing, where 
Jackson's Corps was posted, with himself in personal com- 
mand. They made a bold rush upon us, but we met them 
with such a storm of shell and canister and bullets that they 
were soon driven back. There was a place where our lines 
did not connect and a column of the enemy penetrated this 
gap and gained the crest of the hills; but we had a reserve 
line which raised the "Rebel Tell," and charged upon them 
and sent them flying down the hills again. In their retreat a 
large number of the enemy took shelter in a railroad cut that 
ran along the foot of the hills and our pursuing line charged 
right on over them, leaving them in the rear, while it pursued 
the others out in the open plain beyond. In returning to the 
lines all those men in the railroad cut were made prisoners, 
which they recognized themselves as being when we passed 
over them. The battle of Fredericksburg was now over, but 
we did not know it and we took advantage of the night to re- 
arrange our lines and strengthen our position for the next 
day's anticipated conflict. But when the morning of the 
next day came and we were bracing ourselves for another 
grapple with the enemy, we discovered in looking out over 

Twenty-First Regiment. 159 

the plain that they were not there. The enemy had learned 
by sad experience the impossibility of forcing us from our ad- 
mirable position, and while we were busily engaged during 
the night in strengthening our position, he was silently re- 
moving to the other side of the river out of the range of our 
guns on those frowning hills. 

L. E. Powers, 
Lieutenant Company A. 


9 April, 1901. 

Note. — Soon after Pope issued his braggart proclamation, above re- 
ferred to, including his famous declaration his "Headquarters were in 
the saddle," news came rapidly of his successive and overwhelming de- 
feats. Whereat the New York Herald, pithily and wittily said, "What 
else could you expect from a general who did not know his headquar- 
ters from his hindquarters." Copies of the paper got into the Southern 
lines and created much amusement. — Bd. 


1. Johnston J. Pettigrew, Colonel. 3. Graham Daves, 1st Lieut, and Adjt. 

8. Thos. D. Jones. Captain, Co. A. 4. W. W. Dickson, 2d Lieut., Co. A. 

5. Walter Clark, 2d Lieut, and Drill Master. 


By adjutant GRAHAM DAVES. 

The Twenty-second Eegiment of North Carolina Troops 
was organized in camp near Kaleigh in July, 18C1, by the 
election of the following Field Officers : 

J. JoiiKSTOiy Pettigebw, Colonel, of Tyrrell County, then 
a resident of Charleston, S. C. Colonel PettigreAv had seen 
service with the forces in South Carolina, and conunanded a 
regiment at the siege and capture of Fort Sumter by the 
Confederates in April, 1861. 

John O. Long^ Lieutenant-Colonel, of Eandolph County, 
a graduate of the United States Military Academy at West 

Thomas S. Galloway, Jr., Major, of Eockingham Coun- 
ty, a graduate of the Virginia Military Institute at Lexing- 
ton, Va. 

The commissions of the Field Officers all bore date of 11 
July, 1861. 

The regiment was composed, originally, of twelve compa- 
nies, but two of them, C and D, were very soon transferred to 
other commands, and the lettering. A, B, E, F, G, H, I, K, L, 
and M, for the ten companies, was retained. This fact is 
mentioned because the lettering of the companies of this regi- 
ment as reported in the Eegister published by the Adjutant- 
General of the State in IN^ovember, 1861, and in the roster of 
the troops published by the State in 1882, is incorrectly 

The several companies at the time of their first enlistment, 
and before their organization into a regiment, adopted local 
names, which, as part of their history, it may be of interest 
to preserve : 

Company A, of Caldwell County, Captain W. F. Jones, 


162 North Carolina Troops, 1861-65. 

was called the "Caldwell Eough and Eeady Boys" ; Company 
B, of McDowell County, Captain Jas. M. N'eal, tlie '^McDow- 
ell Eifles" ; Company E', of Guilford County, Captain Colum- 
bus C. Cole, the "Guilford Men" ; Company F, of Alleghany 
County, Captain Jesse F. Eeeves, the "Alleghany True 
Blues" ; Company G, of Caswell Coimty, Captain Edward M. 
Scott, the "Caswell Eifles" ; Company H, of Stokes County, 
Captain Hamilton Scales, the "Stokes Boys" ; Company I, of 
Eandolph County, Captain Shubal G. Worth, the "Davis 
Guards" ; Company K, of McDowell County, Captain Alney 
Burgin, the "McDowell Boys"; Company L, of Eandolph 
County, Captain Eobert H. Gray, the "Uwharrie Eifles"; 
Company M, of Eandolph County, Captain John M. Odell, 
the "Eandolph Hornets." 

Companies C and D, which, as before mentioned, were 
transferred to other regiments, were named : Company C, of 
Surry County, , Captain Eeaves, the "Surry Eegulators" ; 
Company D, of Ashe County, Captain Cox, the "Jefferson 
Davis Mountain Eifles." 

The organization of the regiment was completed by the ap- 
pointment of Lieutenant Graham Daves, of Craven County, 
as Adjutant, 24 July, 1861 ; Dr. James K. Hall, of Guilford 
County, Surgeon, 24 July, 1861; Dr. Benj. A. Cheek, of 
Warren County, Assistant Surgeon, 24 July, 1861; James 
J. Litchford, of Wake County, Assistant Quartermaster, 19 
July, 1861 ; Eev. A. B. Cox, of Alleghany County, 6 July, 
1861, Chaplain; and Hamilton G. Graham (Company I), of 
Craven County, as Sergeant Major. 

First called the Twelfth Volunteers, the regiment was 
shortly after mtobered and designated the Twenty-second 
Troops. The change was made in the Adjutant General's 
office at Ealeigh to avoid confusion. With the exception 
of the "Bethel Eegiment," or First Volunteers, which served 
for six months only, the troops first enlisted were mustered 
into service for one year and were called volunteers. The 
Legislature, however, also authorized the enlistment of ten 
regiments "for three years or the war" — eight of infantry, 

Twenty-Second Regiment. 163 

one of cavalry (Ninth), and one of artillery (Tenth), 
to be called "State Troops," and numbered one to ten. 
This would have caused the numbering of ten regi- 
ments each of "State Troops" and of "Volunteers" res- 
pectively to have beeii the same, and the numbers of the vol- 
unteer regiments were therefore moved forward ten. This 
will explain a change in the numbering of the regiments, to 
include the .Fourteenth Volunteers, afterwards the Twenty- 
fourth Troops, which might not to be understood. A dupli- 
cation of this sort in the numbering of certain regiments of 
Georgia and South Carolina troops did actually exist and 
caused much confusion. 

The first Captain of A Company was W. F. Jones, of Cald- 
well County, who was succeeded by Thos. D. Jones, of the 
same. The entire number of rank and file in this company 
serving at one time or another during its whole term of ser- 
vice was 187 men. Company B had for its first Captain 
James M. ISTeal, of McDowell County, and numbered rank 
and file from first to last 171 men. Captain Columbus C. 
Cole, of Greensboro, commanded E Company, which num- 
bered 184 rank and file, while in service. Jesse F. Reeves, 
of Alleghany County, was first Captain of F Company, which 
numbered 160 men during its term. J. A. Burns was Cap- 
tain of G Company at the organization of the regiment, but 
was shortly after succeeded by John W. Graves. The com- 
pany numbered in all 145 men. Hamilton Scales, of Stokes 
County, was Captain of H Company, which numbered in all 
200 men. I Company's first Captain was Shubal G. Worth, 
of Randolph County. The company numbered 188 men all 
told. Alney Burgin, of McDowell County, was first Captain of 
K Company ; Robert H. Gray, of L Company, and John M. 
Odell, of M Company, which numbered respectively, during 
their several terms of service, 151, 178 and 146 men. These 
figures are mentioned here for convenience, and represent, of 
course, enlistments and assignments for the whole period of 
the war. At the completion of its organization the regiment 
numbered nearly 1,000 enlisted men. Shortly after its or- 
ganization it was ordered to Virginia, and made its first halt 

164 North Carolina Troops, 1861-65. 

in Eiehmond. Eemaining in camp there for a short time, it 
was next ordered to the Potomac to form part of the com- 
mand of General Theophilus H. Holmes, and was first sta- 
tioned at Brook's Station near Acquia Creek. Soon, how- 
ever, it marched to Evansport, a point on the Potomac river, 
the present Quantico Station, between the Chappewamsic 
and Quantico creeks, where batteries of heavy guns were to 
be established to blockade the Potomac below Washington, 
Going into camp at this place late in September, the regi- 
ment was stationed there during the Autumn and winter of 
18 61-' 62, on duty in the erection and support of the batteries 
which were in great part constructed by details of its men. 
There were three of these batteries at first, mounted with 
9-inch Dalghren guns, smooth bore 32 and 42 pounders, and 
one heavy rifled Blakely gun, and they were thought to be 
formidable in those days. ISTo. 2 Battery was in part manned 
by Company I, of the regiment, detailed for that purpose, 
where it continued to serve as long as the post was occupied. 
After the batteries opened, traffic by water to Washington 
ceased almost entirely, but the river there being about two 
miles wide, some craft succeeded in running the gauntlet from 
time to time, among others the steam sloop of war Pensacola, 
which passed at night. 

While on duty at Evansport, about the middle of October, 
1861, the following roster of the line officers of the regiment, 
with dates of their commissions, was returned: 

Compajsty a — Thomas D. Jones, Captain, 8 August, 1861 ; 
J. B. Clark, First Lieutenant, 8 August, 1861; Eelix G. 
Dula, Second Lieutenant, 8 August, 1861 ; Wm. W. Dick- 
son, Second Lieutenant, 8 August, 1861. 

CoMPAisTY B — James H. Neal, Captain, 8 May, 1861 ; A. 
G. Halyburton, First Lieutenant, 8 May, 1861 ; J. M. Hig- 
gins. Second Lieutenant, 8 May, 1861 ; Samuel H. Adams, 
Second Lieutenant, 8 May, 1861. 

Company E — Columbus C. Cole, Captain, 23 May, 1861 ; 
H. E. Charles, First Lieutenant, 23 May, 1861 ; W. H. Fau- 
cett, Second Lieutenant, 23 May, 1861 ; John N". Nelson, 
Second Lieutenant, 27 July, 1861. 

Twenty-Second Regiment. 165 

Company F — Preston B. Eeeves, Captain, 10 September, 
1861 ; John Gambol, First Lieutenant, 11 September, 1861 ; 
Horton L. Reeves, Second Lieutenant, 27 May, 1861 ; George 
Mc. Reeves, Second Lieutenant, 2Y August, 1861. 

Company G^ — John W. Graves, Captain, 11 October, 
1861; J. J. Stokes, First Lieutenant, 28 May, 1861; P. 
Smith, Second Lieutenant, 28 May, 1861 ; John JST. Black- 
vi^ell. Second Lieutenant, 24 August, 1861. 

Company H — Hamilton Scales, Captain, 1 June, 1861 ; 
Fphraim Bouldin, First Lieutenant, 1 June, 1861 ; S. Mar- 
tin, Second Lieutenant, 1 June, 1861 

Company I — Shubal G. Worth, Captain, 5 June, 1861; 
E- H. Winningham, First Lieutenant, 12 August, 1861 ; 
Alex. C. McAllister, Second Lieutenant, 12 August, 1861 ; 
Hamilton C. Graham, Second Lieutenant, 15 August, 1861. 

Company K — Alney Burgin, Captain, 5 June, 1861 ; 
Chas. 'H. Burgin, First Lieutenant, 5 June, 1861 ; A. W. 
Crawford, Second Lieutenant, 5 June, 1861 ; Isaac E. Morris, 
Second Lieutenant, 5 June, 1861. 

Company L — Robert H. Gray, Captain, 18 June, 1861 ; 
Claiborne Gray, First Lieutenant, 18 June, 1861 ; J. A. C. 
Brown, Second Lieutenant, 18 June, 1861 ; W. G. Spencer, 
Second Lieutenant, 18 June, 1861. 

Company M — John M. Odell, Captain, 10 June, 1861; 
Laban Odell, First Lieutenant, 10 June, 1861 ; J. M. Pounds, 
Second Lieutenant, 10 June, 1861 ; Henry C. AUred, Second 
Lieutenant, 10 June, 1861. 

At different times during its entire term of service the 
following were line officers of the Twenty-second Regiment ; 
the list is not quite complete : 

Company A — Captains: W. F. Jones, Thomas D. Jones, 
James M. Isbell, Wm. B. Clark. Lieutenants: Joseph B. 
Clark, James W. Sudderth, Felix G. Dula, Wm. W. Dick- 
eon, Marcus Deal, J. W. Justice. 

Company B — Captains: James M. Neal, J. T. Conley, 
George H. Gardin. Lieutenants : Samuel H. Adams, James 
M. Higgins, Robert A. Tate, S. P. Tate. 

Company E — Captains : Columbus C. Cole, Chas. E. Har- 

166 North Carolina Troops, 1861-65. 

per, Joseph A. Hooper, Martin M. Wolfe, Eobert W. Cole, 
Lieutenants : Andrew J, Busick, W. H. Faucett, Jas. H. Ban- 
ner, John ISr. Nelson, 0. 0. Wheeler. 

Company F — Captains: Jesse F. Eeeves, Preston B. 
Eeaves, W. L. Mitchell, S. G. Caudle. Lieutenants: John 
GamboU, N. A. Eeynolds, David Edwards, Horton S. Eeeves, 
Calvin Eeeves, George G. Eeeves, Calvin C. Carrier. 

Company G — Captains: Edward M. Scott, J. A. Burns, 
John W. Graves, Stanlin Brinchfield. Lieutenants: O. W. 
Eitzgerald, James T. Stokes, Peter Smith, J. N. BlackweU, 
B. S. Mitchell, Martin H. Cobb. 

Company H — Captains : Haimilton Scales, Ephraim Boul- 
din, Wm. H. Lovins. Lieutenants : S. Martin, C. C. Smith, 
John K. Martin, Sam B. Ziglar, Shadrach Martin, Joshua D. 

Company I — Captains : Shubal G. Worth, Geo. V. Lamb. 
Lieutenants : Eobert Hanner, Eli H. Winningham, J«hn H. 
Palmer, B. W. Burkhead, Wm. McAuley, Hamilton C. Gra- 
ham, Alex. C. McAllister, J. S. Bobbins, E. A. Glenn, E. W. 

Company K — Captains : Alney Burgin, Chas. H. Burgin, 
Wm. B. Gooding, E. J. Dobson. Lieutenants : Isaac E. Mor- 
ris, A. W. Crawford, J. L. Greenlee, J. B. Burgin, John M. 
Burgin, J. E. Bailey. 

Company L — Captains : Eobert H. Gray, J. A. C. Brown, 
Lee Eussell, Yancey M. C. Johnson. Lieutenants : Claiborn 
Gray, Wm. G. Spencer, E. C. Llarney, Oliver M. Pike, Cal- 
vin H. Welborn. 

Company M — Captains: John M. Odell, Laban Odell, 
Warren B. Kivett, Columbus F. Slier. Lieutenants : J. M. 
Bobbins, James M. Pounds, Henry C. AUred, Lewis F. Mc- 
Mastexs, John M. Lawrence, A. W. Lawrence. 

Besides the Lieutenants named above, the Captains of the 
several companies had in nearly every instance served as Lieu- 
tenants previous to their promotion. Hon. Walter Clark, 
now senior Justice of the Supreme Court of the State, who 
will compile and edit the histories of our North Carolina Eeg- 
iments, was at its organization a drill master in the Twenty- 

Twenty-Second Regiment. 167 

second. He was then not yet 15 years of age, fresh from 
Colonel Tew's Military Academy at Hillsboro. 

Until March, 1862, the regiment remained in support of 
the batteries at Evansport, in brigade at different times with 
the First Arkansas, the Second Tennessee, a Virginia regi- 
ment, and perhaps other regiments, under command at differ- 
ent times, in the order named, of Generals John G. Walker, 
Isaac R. Trimble and Samuel G. French. While there the 
health of the men was good, except for measles, which 
seemed to be epidemic in all the regiments. The batteries 
were frequently engaged with the enemy's gunboats, 
and with batteries on the Maryland side of the Po- 
tomac, but the casualties were very few. Company I 
had several men wounded by the bursting of a 42- 
pounder gun in Battery No. 2. While on duty at Evansport, 
Colonel Pettigrew was promoted Brigadier-General, but feel- 
ing that his services were of more value in furthering the re- 
enlistment and re-organization of the regiment, then near at 
hand, he declined the appointment — a rare instance of patri- 
otism and devotion to the public good. When the army fell 
back from Manassas and the Potomac in March, 1862, to the 
line of the Rappahannock, General French commanded the 
brigade, which took post at Fredericksburg. Soon after Gen- 
eral French was transferred to a command in ISTorth Caro- 
lina, and the regiment was marched to the Peninsula below 
Richmond and shared in the Williamsburg and Yorktown 
campaign. Returning to the vicinity of Richmond, and 
Colonel Pettigrew having been again appointed brigadier, in 
command of the brigade, which appointment he this time ac- 
cepted, Lieutenant-Colonel Chas. E. Lightfoot, previously of 
the Sixth Regiment, was promoted Colonel. Under his com- 
mand the regiment went into the fight at Seven Pines in May- 
June, 1862, in which it was heavily engaged, and its losses 
were severe. General Pettigrew was here wounded and made 
prisoner. Colonel Lightfoot was also captured. Captain 
Thomas D. Jones and Lieutenant S. H. Adams were killed, 
besides many others, and the aggregate loss of the regiment 
was 147 in all. 

168 North Carolina Troops, 186J-'65. 

Soon after Seven Pines the regiment was re-organized, 
when the following were elected Field Officers : James Con- 
nor, of South Carolina, Colonel; Captain Kobert H. Gray, 
of Company L, Lieutenant-Colonel; and Captain Columbus 
C. Cole, of Company E, Major. They took rank from 14 
June, 1862. There were many changes also in the line officers. 
Previously Adj utant Graham Daves had been promoted Cap- 
tain and assigned to duty as Assistant Adjutant-General on 
the general staff, and Lieutenant P. E. Charles became Adju- 
tant. A new brigade, too, was formed, consisting of the Six- 
teenth, Twenty-second, Thirty-fourth and Thirty-eighth 
North Carolina Regiments, and placed under the command 
of Brigadier-General Wm. D. Pender, in the division of 
General A. P. Hill. 

An officer in describing the bearing of the Twenty-second 
at Seven Pines says: "In all my readings of veterans, and 
of coolness under fire, I have never conceived of anything 
surpassing the coolness of our men in this fight." 

In the "Seven Days' Fight" around Richmond the regi- 
ment was next engaged: First, at Mechanics ville, 26 June, 
in which Colonel Connor was badly wounded; at Ellison's 
Mill; at Gaines' Mill, 27 Jime, where it won the highest 
encomiums. General A. P. Hill says of it in his report of 
the battle : "The Sixteenth North Carolina, Colonel McEl- 
roy, and the Twenty-second, Lieutenant-Colonel Gray, at 
one time carried the crest of the hill, and were in the enemy's 
camp, but were driven back by overwhelming numbers." 
And General Pender : "My men fought nobly and main- 
tained their ground with great stubbornness." Next at Fra- 
zier's Farm, 30 June. In this fight the regiment was very 
conspicuous and suffered severely. Among the killed were 
Captain Harper and Lieutenant P. E. Charles, of Company 
E. The latter was bearing the regimental colors at the time, 
and near him, in a space little more than ten feet square, nine 
men of the color guard lay dead. Captain Ephraim Boul- 
din, of Company H, was also killed. 

On 9 August, the battle of Cedar Mountain was fought. 
In this engagement the Twenty-second Regiment was charged 
by a regiment of cavalry which it easily repulsed and pun- 

Twenty-Second Regiment. 169 

ished sharply. Lieutenant Kobert W. Cole, of Company E, 
succeeded Lieutenant Charles, as Adjutant. The regiment 
was with Jackson in his battles with Pope of 28 and 29 Au- 
gust, and bore an active part at Second Manassas on 30 Au- 
gust. In these actions it was efficiently commanded by Major 
C C. Cole, owing to the extreme sickness of Lieutenant-Colo- 
nel Gray. Two days later it was again engaged with the enemy 
at Chantilly, or Ox Hill, fought in a terrible thunder storm, in 
which the artillery of heaven and of earth seemed to strive 
in rivalry. The hard service and heavy losses of this cam- 
paign may be understood by the fact that at this time there 
were, out of the twelve field officers of the four regiments of 
the brigade, but three left on duty with their commands, and 
some of the companies were commanded by corporals. 

Pope, the braggart, had made good use of his "Headquar- 
ters in the saddle" to get out of Virginia, and had learned all 
about "Lines of Retreat." 

The Twenty-second Regiment took part in the reduction 
and capture of Harper's Ferry 15 August, where it re- 
mained until the 17th, the day the battle of Sharpsburg was 
fought. On that day the regiment, with the rest of A. P. 
Hill's division, arrived on the battlefield after a forced 
march of seventeen miles, in time to aid, in the afternoon, in 
the decided repulse of Bumside's attack at the "Stone 
Bridge," thereby preventing the turning of General Lee's 
right and saving the day to the Confederates. On the night 
of the 18th, the army re-crossed the Potomac and on the 19th 
was followed by a division of Federals, which was promptly 
attacked by part of A. P. Hill's command, routed and driven 
back across the Potomac at Shepherdstown with great slaugh- 
ter. The Twenty-second took an active part in this success- 
ful fight. After the enemy had been driven into the river, a 
heavy fire was opened on the Confederates by the Federal bat- 
teries and sharp shooters from its north bank. Under this 
fire a detachment of the Twenty-second under Major Cole 
lay, with very slight protection, for nearly twelve hours, and 
could be withdrawn only after nightfa,ll. 

Shortly after Shepherdstown, Lieutenant-Colonel Gray re- 
joined the regiment, and Lieutenant J. R. Cole, previously 

170 North Carolina Troops, 1861-'65. 

of the Fifty-fourth Eegiment, was assigned to the Twenty- 
second as Adjutant. On 22 JSTovember, A. P. Hill's Divis- 
ion, which had been on duty near Martinsburg and at Snick- 
er's Gap in the Blue Ridge, (where there was constant skir- 
mishing), marched for Fredericksburg, where it arrived 
2 December, a distance of 180 miles. In this winter 
march many of the men were barefooted but made merry 
over it. At the battle of Fredericksburg, 13 December, 
Jackson's Corps formed the right of Lee's ■ army and Pen- 
der's Brigade was on the left of A. P. Hill's Division in the 
first line. The regiment acquitted itself in this famous ac- 
tion in a way well worthy its old reputation. The night of 
the 12th a detail from the regiment, by a bold dash, succeeded 
in burning a number of haystacks and houses very near to, 
and affording cover, to the Federal lines. Major C. C. Cole 
was in charge of the detail, and next day commanded the 
skirmish line in front of Pender's Brigade. He was ably, 
seconded by Captain Laban Odell, of Company M, and Lieu- 
tenant Clark, of Company A. The brigade maintained its 
position throughout the action, repulsing every attack upon 
it, but not without heavy loss. Major Cole was much com- 
plimented for his handsome action in dispersing the strong 
force of the enemy's skirmishers on the brigade front. Gen- 
eral Pender was wounded, and his Aid-de-Camp, Lieutenant 
Sheppard, was killed in the engagement. Some time before 
Fredericksburg the Thirteenth North Carolina Eegiment, 
Colonel Alfred M. Scales, had been added to Pender's Bri- 

The winter of 1862-63 was passed in picket and other duty 
on the Eappahannock below Fredericksburg. Colonel James 
Connor rejoined the regiment while it was stationed there, 
but was still unfitted by his severe wound for active duty. 
The services of Lieutenant-Colonel Gray were lost to the reg- 
iment at this time. Always a man of delicate health, he died 
16 March, 1863. Major C. C. Cole was promoted to 
Lieutenant-Colonel and Captain Odell became Major their 
commissions dating 16 March, 1862 — positions that these ex- 
cellent officers were to hold but a short time. 

At Chancellorsville in May, 1863, the regiment was in 


1. J. B. Clarke, 1st Lieiif.. Co. A. 3. S. F. Harper. Private, Co. A 

2. Sion H. Oxford, Ensign, 4. William T Abernathy,Private,Co. A. 

5. Aurelius J. Dula, Private, Co. A. 

Twenty-Second Regiment. 171 

Jackson's flank attack on Hooker, and tkrougliout the whole 
of the action was heavily engaged. Its losses were very 
severe. Colonel Cole and Major Odell were both killed, two 
hundred and nineteen men and twenty-six out of thirty-three 
ofiicers were killed or wounded, and though the regiment was 
distinguished by its accustomed efficiency and gallantry, noth- 
ing could compensate for this terrible destruction. Chan- 
cellorsville was the eighteenth battle of the Twenty-second 
Eegiment, and the most fatal. It went through the Mary- 
land campaign of 1863, and Gettysburg, with credit. G-eneral 
Wm. D. Pender had been made a Major General and was 
now in command of the division, and Colonel Alfred M. 
Scales, of the Thirteenth Regiment, was promoted Brigadier 
in command of the brigade. It participated in the first day's 
brilliant success at Gettysburg, was engaged also on the sec- 
ond day, and on the third the brigade was part of General 
I. R. Trimble's division. General Pender having been mor- 
tally wounded, in sxipport of Heth's division, then under Pet- 
tigrew, in the famous charge on Cemetery Ridge. In this 
charge, Archer's and Scales' brigades occupied and held for 
a ti'me the Federal works, and when they retreated to the 
Confederate lines, Scales' Brigade had not one Field Officer 
left for duty, and but very few Line Officers. Its total loss 
was 102 killed and 322 wounded. 

After the return of the regiment to Virginia it was re-or- 
ganized, when Thomas S. Galloway, Jr., at one time its 
Major, was elected Colonel, to date from 21 September, 1863 ; 
Wm. L. Mitchell was Lieutenant-Colonel; J. H. Welborn, 
Adjvitant; J. D. Wilder, Quartermaster; P. G. Robinson, 
Surgeon. Benj. A. Cheek was still Assistant Surgeon. The 
Line Officers, with dates of commission, were as follows : 

Company A— Captain, Wm. B. Clark, 12 October, 1862 ; 
First Lieutenant, Joseph B. Clark, 28 October, 1862 ; Sec- 
ond Lieutenant, Wm. A. Tuttle, 25 April, 1863. 

Company B — Captain ; First Lieutenant, Robert 

A. Tate, 1 August, 1863 ; Second Lieutenant, George H. Gar- 
din, 11 May, 1863; Second Lieutenant, Samuel P. Tate, 1 
August, 1863. 

172 NoETH Carolina Troops, 1861-'65. 

OoMPANT E — Captain, Eobert W. Cole, 15 September, 
1863; First Lieutenant, Andrew J. Busick, 15 September, 
1863 ; Second Lieutenant, Oliver 0. Wheeler, 25 April, 1863. 

Company F — Captain ; First Lieutenant, David 

Edwards, 20 October, 1862 ; Second Lieutenant, Shadrach G. 
Caudle, 25 April, 1863. 

Company G — Captain, George A. Graves, 1 May, 1862; 
First Lieutenant, Peter Smith, 10 May, 1862 ; Second Lieu- 
tenant, Eobert L. Mitchell, 1 May, 1862 ; Second Lieuten- 
ant, Martin H. Cobb, 25 April, 1863. 

Company H — Captain, Thomas T. Slade, 23 October, 
1863 ; First Lieutenant, John K. Martin, 25 May, 1863 ; Sec- 
ond Lieutenant, Mason T. Mitchell, 25 April, 1863 ; Second 
Lieutenant, C. L. Graves, 25 May, 1863. 

Company I — Captain, Gaston V. Lamb, 18 July, 1862 ; 
First Lieutenant, Burwell W. Burkhead, 1 July, 1863 ; Sec- 
ond Lieutenant, Richard W. Winburne, 1 August, 1863 ; Sec- 
ond Lieutenant, Robert A. Glenn, 1 August, 1863. 

Company K — Captain, W. B. Gooding, 13 November, 
1862; First Lieutenant, , ■; Second Lieuten- 
ant, E. J. Dobson, 5 November, 1862. 

Company L — Captain, Lee Russell, , ; First 

Lieutenants, Yancey M. C. Johnson, 1 August, 1863 ; Second 
Lieutenant, Oliver M. Pike, 15 July, 1863 ; Second Lieuten- 
ant, Calvin H. Winbome, 1 August, 1863. 

Company M — Captain, Columbus F. Siler, 2 May, 1863 ; 
First Lieutenant, James M. Robbins, 2 May, 1863 ; Second 
Lieutenant, John M. Lawrence, 25 April, 1863. 

Under this organization the regiment shared in the events 
of the "campaign of strategy" in October and ISTovember, 
1863, on the Eapidan, and endured the cold and other priva- 
tions in the affair at Mine Run, 2 December. Going into 
winter quarters after that, there were no occurrences of 
much note until the opening of the great campaign 
in the Spring of 1864. Major-General Cadmus M. 
Wilcox had been assigned to the command of the division, 
General Pender having died of the wound received at Gettys- 
burg, and this division with that of Heth, at the Wilderness 

Twenty-Second Regiment. 173 

5 May, withstood and repulsed with heavy loss every 
attack of Grant's forces on that memorable day. So severe 
had been the struggle that at night when General Heth asked 
permission to readjust his lines, much disordered by the per- 
sistent fighting, General A. P. Hill simply replied : "Let the 
tired men sleep," a decision which, with the delay of Lon- 
street's corps the next morning in getting into position, had 
nearly caused disaster. The Twenty-second bore well its part 
here, and so on, always maintaining its high reputation, at 
Spottsylvania, North Anna, Cold Harbor, and through the 
weary winter of hardship and want of 1864-'65, borne with 
fortitude, in the trenches at Petersburg ; on the trying retreat 
at Appomattox in April, 1865, where the sad end came. 


After Grant's disastrous attack upon Lee at Cold Harbor in 
June, 18 64, he withdrew from Lee's front and began the move- 
ment which transferred his operations to the vicinity of Pe- 
tersburg. To conceal this movement Warren's Corps was sent 
up the roads towards Eichmond to make demonstrations, and 
to meet Warren, Wilcox's Division, in which were Scales' Bri- 
gade and the Twenty-second Regiment, was sent. After a 
hard march Gary's Brigade of cavalry was found falling 
back before a heavy force and Lane's and Scales' Brigades of 
infantry were at once ordered forward. These drove back 
Wilsdn's cavalry division for one and a half miles, and 
secured and held a cross-roads near a place called Smith's 
Shop, in the vicinity of the Frazier's Farm battlefield. In 
this fight and advance (of more than an hour) the centre of 
the Twenty-second Regiment passed at one time over an open 
knoll, which had been cleared for artillery two years before, 
where they received the full fire of Wilson's men and lost 
heavily, but still pressed on, driving the enemy before them, 
and held the position as mentioned above. 


In his account of this action in August, 1864, Swinton 
errs in saying that three charges were made by the Confed- 

174 North Carolina Troops, 18U1-'65. 

erates, iivo of which were repulsed. The first charge, as he 
terms it, was merely an advance of a battalion of sharpshoot- 
ers, under Captain John Young, which drove in the Federal 
pickets and skirmishers. Captain Young reported that there 
was only a line of picket pits in our front. Under this im- 
pression the Sixteenth, Twenty-second and Thirty-fourth 
North Carolina regiments, and Benning's Georgia Brigade, 
were ordered to charge. On reaching the edge of the woods, 
Benning's men, seeing a strong line of works, well manned, in 
their front, were halted. The Twenty-second Kegiment 
charged up to the works, but, having lost their support on 
their right, were withdrawn. They were not repulsed. Pri- 
vate Ellison, of Company L, snatched an United States flag 
from the earth works in this charge, and brought it away 
with him. Shortly after this Lane's, MacRae's and another 
brigade of ITeth's Division, with the Twenty-second Regi- 
ment covering their left flank, charged the position and car- 
ried the works in splendid style. Hampton's cavalry shared 
in the attack and rendered most efficient service. 

An incident worthy of record occurred in the winter of 
1864:-'65, while the Twenty-second N^orth Carolina was on 
duty on the lines south of Petersburg, Va., in support of Bat- 
tery 45. General A. P. Hill, commanding the corps, was 
desirous of getting certain information with regard to the 
force and position of the enemy on his front. This he thought 
might be obtained by the capture of some prisoners, and he 
directed General A. M. Scales, commanding brigade, to make 
a foray on the skirmiish line or picket posts of the enemy op- 
posite his lines. General Scales detailed Captain C. Prank 
Siler, of Company M, of the Twenty-second JSTorth Carolina, 
to undertake the expedition with a part of the sharpshooters 
of the brigade. 

Captain Young, who commanded the sharpshooters, was 
temporarily absent. Siler was ordered to report to General 
James H. Lane and get a reinforcement from the sharpshoot- 
ers of that brigade, but before making the move, Siler wished 
to reconnoitre the position. To effect this thoroughly, he 
adopted a ruse. Crossing to the Yankee lines he offered, 
with the usual signals, to exchange newspapers, as was often 

Twenty-Second Regiment. 175 

done. While haggling about the exchange he examined the 
position and its surroundings carefully and selected a path by 
which it might be approached advantageously, iietuming 
to his command, he rode over to General Lane's quarters to 
get the reinforcements as ordered, General Scales having 
loaned him a horse for the purpose. !N"ow, for the better de- 
fence of Battery 45, the men of the Twenty-second had 
dammed up a small stream in its vicinity which had the effect 
of collecting much water in the battery's front and rendering 
the approach to it very difficult. Along the top of this dam was 
the shortest route between the two brigades, and over it Siler 
attempted to ride. It was very dark, however, and, as he af- 
terwards discovered, his horse was "moon-eyed," and in con- 
sequence, horse and man tumbled off the dam into the water 
and mud seventeen feet below. Nothing daunted, and in 
spite of cold and bruises, he fished himself and horse out, 
and after much tribulation he succeeded, "accoutred as he 
was," in finding Major Wooten, who commanded Lane's 
sharpshooters, and got the detail wanted. Uniting them 
with his own men they all proceeded quietly to the Yankee 
rifle pits by the path Siler had previously selected. Arrived 
at tlie pits, they found all there asleep except a sentinel in 
front of the works, upon whom they closed before he could 
discharge his piece. The sentry ran into the works and tried 
to use his bayonet, but Siler turned it aside and secured him 
before he cotild give the alarm. The command then swept 
up and down the rifle pits, and after capturing sixty men, 
made good their retreat with their prisoners, to the Confed- 
erate lines, not, however, without receiving a heavy fire from 
the Yankees, who had recovered from their surprise, which, 
owing to the darkness, fortunately, did no damage. From 
some of the prisoners captured all information wanted was 
obtained, and Captain Siler and his men were highly compli- 
mented for their gallant action. 

southeeland's STATIOH". 

An incident, well worth recording, happened near this sta- 
tion, after our troops had evacuated the works on Hatcher's 

17() North Cakolina Troops, 1861-'G5. 

Run. Colonel Galloway, of the Twenty-second Eegiment, 
who was temporarily in command of Scales' Brigade, sent 
Companies I, L, and M, of that regiment — all of Randolph 
County — under command of Captain C. F. Siler, of Com- 
pany M, to hold a woods a little in advance on his right. An 
ammunition wagon had broken down near by and Captain 
Siler had several boxes of cartridges carried to his line and 
distributed. From this position he repelled with his small 
command, two attacks of a full regiment, and held it until he 
was ordered to retire. Captain Siler was an excellent man 
and officer, equally at home in a fight or a revival, and ef- 
ficient in both. 

Colonel Thos. S. Galloway is still living. His residence 
is now in Somerville, Tenn. 

Dr. Benj. A. Clark, of Warren County, who was with the 
Twenty-second Kegiment as Assistant Surgeon, or as Surgeon, 
during the entire war, reported in the Spring of 1865 that, 
up to that time, the death roll of the regiment amounted to 

It is worthy of note that the brunt of the fight on the right, 
in the first day's struggle at tlie Wilderness in May, 1864, 
was borne by Heth's and Wilcox's divisions of A. P. Hill's 
Corps. They maintained their positions and repelled all at- 
tacks all day, of a superior force, successfully. The Twenty- 
second Eegiment was in Wilcox's Division, and was heavily 

The Twenty-second Eegiment served throughout the war in 
the Army of ISTorthern "Virginia, and participated actively in 
every action of consequence in which that army was engaged, 
except the first battle of Manassas. 

At Seven Pines, Company A, of the regiment, took into 
action one hundred men, of whom eighteen were killed, or 
mortally wounded, besides the Captain, Thos. F. Jones. At 
Shepherdstown four were killed out of thirty engaged. At 
Chancellorsville eight out of thirty-five; at Gettysburg four 
out of thirty. 

In all, out of about 180 who served with the company 
during the whole period of the war, 44 were killed outright, 
10 were discharged as disabled by wounds, 13 were dis- 

Twenty-Second Regiment. 177 

charged under the provisions of the Conscript Act, and 23 
died of sickness. 

Private A. J. Dula, of Company A, was standing very 
near General "Stonewall" Jackson when the latter received 
his death wound at Chancellorsville. 

In Vol. 125, "Official Records Union and Confederate 
Armies," p. 816, claim is made hy Corporal Thomas CuUen, 
of Company I, Eighty-second New York Volunteers, that he 
captured the flag of the Twenty-second North Carolina Regi- 
ment in the fight at Bristoe Station, Va., 14 October, 1863, 
"while advancing under fire." The claim is a very absurd one, 
and looks like a bid by the corporal for a little notoriety at the 
expense of the truth. The Twenty-second North Carolina 
Regiment was not in the engagement at Bristoe at all, nor -did 
any part of Scales' Brigade participate in that action. In 
further proof, if it were needed, the statement of the Colonel 
then in command of the Twenty-second Regiment, with re- 
gard to the claim, is appended, and it will be seen that his 
denial of the claim is most positive. His remarks are in re- 
ply to an inquiry from the writer who wished to have the Col- 
onel's ofiicial corroboration of his own knowledge of the facts 
in the case : 

"In reply I have to say, and I do so emphatically, that the 
statement is untrue. I was, at the time of that action. Colo- 
nel in command of the Twenty-second Regiment North Caro- 
lina Troops, and know positively that my regiment was not en- 
gaged at Bristoe at all. We did not arrive on the field until 
the fighting was over. I can further state that the Twenty- 
second North Carolina Regiment never lost a fiag while I 
commanded it, from 23 September, 1863, to Appomattox. 
"Very truly your friend, 

"Thomas S. Galloway; 
"Late Colonel Twenty-second Regiment, N. C. Troops, In- 


15 November, 1900. 

It may not be amiss to add that Corporal CuUen is reported 

178 North Carolina Troops, 1861-'65. 

as stating that he "captured the flag of the Twenty-second or 
Twenty-eighth ISTorth Carolina Regiment at Bristoe Station, 
14 October, 1863, while advancing under fire." His state- 
ment as to the Twenty-eighth North Carolina is as untrue as 
that as to the Twenty-second. The Twenty-eighth Eegiment 
was of General James H. Lane's Brigade, of Wilcox's Divis- 
ion, and was not in the engagement at Bristoe. The brigades 
most actively engaged in that disastrous fight were Cooke's 
and MacRae's, of Heth's Division, A. P. Hill's Corps. 

It is significant that the report of these flag captures, of 
which there purport to be many, (Vol. 125, p. 814-817, 
"Official Records Union and Confederate Armies/') adds, 
after recounting Corporal CuUen's doughty exploit, that he is 
"now a prisoner of war." 

Quere. — As there were no exchanges of prisoners at the 
time, is it not probable that it was CuUen, and not the flag, 
that was captured at Bristoe ? Something seems to have con- 
fused his memory. 

At the surrender at Appomattox 9 April, 1865, the brigade 
was under command of Colonel Joseph H. Hyman, 
of the Thirteenth Regiment, (of Edgecombe county), 
and numbered, all told, 720 men, of whom 92 were 
ofiicers, of the different grades, and 628 were enlisted 
men. Of the Twenty-second Regiment there were paroled 
97 men and the following officers : Colonel, Thomas S. Gal- 
loway, Jr. ; Lieutenant-Colonel, W. L. Mitchell ; Captains, 
George H. Gardin, Company B ; Robert W. Cole, Company 
E ; Gaston V. Lamb, Company I ; E. J. Dobson, Company K ; 
Yancey M. C. Johnson, Company I; Columbus E. Siler, 
Company M. Lieutenants: Wm. A. Tuttle, Company A; 
Samuel P. Tate, Company B ; Andrew J. Busick, Company 
E; W. C. Orrell, Company E; Calvin H. Wilborne, Com- 
pany L. In Company E but eight privates "present for 
duty," were left, and in Company H but five. Besides those 
mentioned several members of the regiment, who were on de- 
tached service, were paroled elsewhere. 

And so the regiment was disbanded and its few surviving 
members sought their distant homes, with heavy hearts, in- 

Twenty-Second Regiment. 179 

deed, at the failure of the cause they had upheld so long and 
so bravely, undeterred by privation and unappalled by dan- 
gers, but still sustained by the parting words of their illus- 
trious chief, and the consciousness of right, and of duty well 
done. 1^0 nobler band of men ever offered their all at the be- 
hest of the sovereign State to which they owed allegiance, and 
to the little squad of them, now "in the sere, the yellow leaf," 
who have not yet "crossed over the river and rest under the 
shade of the trees," an old comrade sends warmest greeting 
and best wishes. Would that his feeble efforts in attemp-c- 
ing to preserve some portion, at least, of their record were 
more worthy of their matchless deeds. Few of them, if any, 
there were who, when all was over, might not have said in 
the words of St. Paul : "I have fought a good fight. * * 
I have kept the faith." 

And to those of the regiment — that larger regiment by 
far — ^who sleep their last sleep where at duty's call they laid 
down their lives, on the plains and hillsides of Virginia and 
Maryland, from the xippomattox to the Antietam, is gladly 
rendered the fullest meed of grateful praise. Their fidelity 
and devoted sacrifice shall be celebrated in song and story, and 
shall be borne in loving memory while time shall last. 

* * * "Lament them not! 

ISTo love can make immortal 

That span which we call life ; 

And never heroes passed to heaven's portal 

From fields of grander strife." 

In offering this imperfect history of the Twenty-second 
Regiment of JSTorth Carolina Troops in the late war between 
the States, the writer will say, in explanation of its many 
omissions and shortcomings, that during more than the last 
two years of its service, he had been transferred to other duty 
and was not a member of the regiment. He gratefully ac- 
knowledges his indebtedness to Lieutenant J. R. Cole, some 
time its Adjutant, for much valuable information. He 

180 North Carolina Troops, 1861-'65. 

hopes the brave story of the part the regiment bore in the mO' 
mentoTis campaigns of 18 64-' 6 5 will yet he told in full detail, 

Graham Daves, 
New Been, N. C, 
9 April, 1901. 


1. E. D. Johnston, Colonel. 4. C. C. Blacknall, Colonel, 

a. J. F. Hoke, Colonel. 5. J. W. Leak, Lieut.-Colonel. 

3. D. H. Christie, Colonel. 6. E. J. Christian, Major. 

7. Rev. Theophilus W. Moore, Chaplain. 


H. C. WALL, Seegeant Company A. 

Up to the re-arrangement of the regimental numbers follow- 
ing the Confederate Conscription Act, which went into effect 
lY May, 1862, this regiment had been known as the Thir- 
teenth Regiment of ITorth Carolina Volunteers. The reason 
of the change is very clearly given by Major Gordon in the 
history of the organization. As repetition is, as far as possible, 
to be avoided in these sketches we will not give it here. 

No North Carolinians were more forward in the cause of 
Southern defence than the men who formed the Twenty- 
liiird. They were among the first to respond when the State 
called upon her sons to repel invasion. The organization 
of most, if not all the companies, ante-date the Ordinance 
of Secession, passed 20 May, 1861. 

This was only ten days after the act authorizing their en- 
listment was passed. Of course in this case, as in many oth- 
ers, the action of the State had been foreseen and an- 
ticipated, and the raising of companies had begun before. 

The act authorizing the enlistment of the ten regiments of 
"State Troops" had been passed on 8 May, two days earlier. 

The power of appointing all commissioned officers in the 
"State Troops" was lodged in the Governor. But the "Vol- 
unteers" to which the Twenty-third, then the Thirteenth, 
belonged, were empowered to elect their own officers, to be 
commissioned by the Governor. The men of each company 
were to elect their respective Line or Company Officers. The 
Line Officers were, by balloting among themselves, to 
elect Field or Regimental officers. The enlistment for the 
"Volunteers" was for twelve months; that of the "State 
Troops" as long as the war lasted. It is hardly necessary to 

182 North Carolina Troops, 1861-'65. 

add that both of the above classes of troops were in fact vol' 
unteers, the enlistment of both being entirely voluntary. 

The personnel of the Twenty-third was doubtless as repre- 
sentative of the diverse racial strains of the State as any com- 
mand raised within her borders. The three companies raised 
in Granville County, were virtually pure English, descend- 
ants of the early Virginia settlers who later settled in this 
State. In the company from Eichmond and Anson Counties 
there was a strong infusion of Highland Scotch, descendants 
of the stout-hearted, strong armed CuUoden lads who were 
"out wi' Charlie in the '45." In those from Catawba, Lin- 
coln and Gaston, the German stock, that trending down from 
Pennsylvania had largely settled that part of the State, 
abounded. While the names in these and other companies 
from that region show the presence of many Scotch-Irish who 
had been co-settlers with the Germans. 

The regiment was composed of the following compa- 
nies. We give the original name which each com- 
pany bore, and the county in which it was raised. 
Seeking to do justice to all, we give as complete as 
we are able to make it, a roster of the Line and Field officers, 
showing the promotions and casualties to the end of the Avar. 
We regret that lack of space excludes that of equally worthy 
non-commissioned officers and privates. But North Caro- 
lina has not been unmindful of them. All and the casualties of 
each, though not as accurately as could be wished, down to th.e - 
humblest, appear in the general roster of which a large num- 
ber of copies were published by the State in 1882. 

Company A — Anson Ellis Rifles, Anson County — Captain 
Wm. F. Harlee, of Anson County; commissioned May 22, 
1861, resigned December 15, 1861. Captain James M. 
Wall, of Anson County, commissioned December 15, 1861. 
Captain Frank Bennett, of Anson County, commissioned 
May 10, 1862 ; promoted from First Sergeant ; wounded May 
29, 1862; wounded at Chancellorsville ; wounded May 12, 
1864, at Spottsylvania Court House; wounded at Hatcher's 
Hun. W. D. Redfearne, First Lieutenant, of Anson Coun- 
ty; commissioned May 22, 1861. James C. Marshall, First 

Twenty-Third Regiment. 183 

Lieutenant, of Anson County; commissioned May 10, 1862; 
transferred as Adjutant to Fourteenth Regiment in 1862. 
John M. Little, Second Lieutenant, of Anson County; com- 
missioned May 22, 1861. James Crowder, Second Lieuten- 
ant, of Anson County; commissioned May 22, 1861; wound- 
ed and captured at Sharpsburg ; wounded at Lynchburg June, 
1864. Samuel F. Wright, Second Lieutenant, of Anson 
County; commissioned May 10, 1862; captured at Gettys- 

CoMPAiTY B — Hog Hill Guards, Lincoln County — Geo. 
W. Seagle, Captain, Lincoln County ; commissioned May 23, 

1861. Wesley Hadspeth, Captain, Lincoln County; com- 
missioned May 10, 1862; promoted from ranks; wounded at 
Sharpsburg; killed at Chancellorsville May 3, 1863. G. W. 
Hunter, Captain, Lincoln County; promoted from ranks. 
Josiah Holbrook, Captain, Lincoln County; promoted from 
ranks. T. J. Seagle, First Lieutenant, Lincoln County ; 
commissioned May 23, 1861. M. H. Shuford, First Lieu- 
tenant, Lincoln Coimty; commissioned May 23, 1861. Lee 
Johnson, Second Lieutenant, Lincoln County; commissioned 
May 23, 1861. S. A. Shuford, Second Lieutenant, Lincoln 
County; commissioned May 10, 1862. Wm. R. Sloan, Sec- 
ond Lieutenant, Mecklenburg County; commissioned May 
10, 1862. M. H. Shuford, Second Lieutenant, Lincoln 
County; commissioned May 10, 1862. W. A. Thompson, 
Second Lieittenant, Lincoln County; commissioned May 10, 

1862. M. M. Hines, Second Lieutenant, Lincoln County; 
commissioned November 20, 1861 ; prisoner September 19, 

Company C — Montgomery Volunteers No. 1 — C. J. Coch- 
rane, Captain, of Montgomery County; commissioned May 
27, 1861. E. J. Christian, Captain, of Montgomery Coun- 
ty, commissioned May 10, 1862; promoted Major May 10, 
1862, and killed May 31, 1862 at Seven Pines. A. F. Sear- 
borough, Captain, of Montgomery County; commissioned 
May 10, 1862 ; killed May 30, 1862. E. H. Lyon, Captain, 
of Granville County; commissioned May 31, 1862; trans- 
ferred from Company E; prisoner September 19, 1864. 
E. J. Christian, First Lieutenant, of Montgomery County; 

184 North Carolina Troops, 1861-'65. 

commissioned May 27, 1861 ; promoted and killed. John E. 
Nicholson, First Lieutenant, of Montgomery County; com- 
missioned May 10, 1862. E. J. Garris, Second Lieutenant, 
of Montgomery County; commissioned May 10, 1862; killed 
W. Montgomery, Second Lieutenant, of Montgomery County ; 
commissioned May 27, 1861. Jeremiah Coggins, Second 
Lieutenant, of Montgomery County; commissioned May 10, 
1862 ; prisoner at Gettysburg July 1, 1863 ; one of the 600 
officers placed under Confederate fire at Charleston, S. C. ; 
died at Fort Delaware. A. F. Saunders, Second Lieutenant, 
of Montgomery County; commissioned May 10, 1862; killed 
at Spottsylvania May 9, 1864. J. P. Leach, Second Lieuten- 
ant, of Montgomery County; commissioned April 14, 1863. 

Company I) — Pee Dee Guards — Lewis H. Webb, Captain, 
of Eichmond County; commissioned May 30, 1861; resign- 
ed. A- T. Cole, Captain, of Eichmond County ; commissioned 
May 10, 1862 ; wounded at Sharpsburg; wounded and captur- 
ed at Chancellorsville ; captured at Spottsylvania C. H. 
May 12, 1864 ; one of the 600 officers placed under Confeder- 
ate guns at Charleston, S. C. James S. Knight, First Lieu- 
tenant, of Eichmond County; commissioned May 30, 1861; 
killed at Chancellorsville May 3, 1863. Eisden T. Nichols, 
First Lieutenant, of Eichmond County; commissioned May 
10, 1862 ; died in 1862. J. H. Chappell, First Lieutenant, 
of Eichmond County. John W. Cole, Second Lieutenant, 
of Eichmond County; commissioned May 30, 1861. B. H. 
Covington, Second Lieutenant, of Eichmond County; com- 
missioned May 30, 1861. W. C. Wall, Second Lieutenant, 
of Eichmond County; commissioned October 17, 1861; pro- 
moted Captain Company F; wounded at Monacacy July 
1864. James H. Chappell, Second Lieutenant, of Eich- 
mond County; commissioned October 10, 1862; severely 
wounded at Chancellorsville; captured. E. A. McDonald, 
Second Lieutenant, of Eichmond County ; commissioned Oc- 
tober 10, 1862 ; severely wounded at Chancellorsville. 

Company E — Granville Plough Boys, Granville County — 
J. H. Horner, Captain, of G-ranville County; commissioned 
June 5, 1861. B. F. Bullock, Captain, of Granville County; 
commissioned . E. E. Lyon, First Lieutenant, of 

Twenty-Third Regiment. 185 

Granville County; commissioned June 5, 1861. T. W. 
Moore, First Lieutenant, of Granville County ; commissioned 
August 15, 1861. J. H. Mitchell, Second Lieutenant, of 
Granville County; commissioned June 5, 1861. A. D. 
Peace, Second Lieutenant, of Granville County ; commission- 
ed June 5, 1861 ; wounded twice. E.. V. Minor, Second 
Lieutenant, of Granville Coimty; commissioned September 
25, 1862. E. H. Lyon, Second Lieutenant, of Granville 
County; commissioned JSTovember 12, 1861; transferred as 
Captain of Company C. B. F. Bullock, Second Lieutenant, 
of Granville County; commissioned December 6, 1861. J. 
T. Bullock, Second Lieutenant, of Granville County; com- 
missioned May 10, 1862; captured May 12, 1864; one of 
the 600 officers placed under Confederate guns at Charleston, 

5. C. A. S. Webb, Second Lieutenant, of Granville County ; 
commissioned May 10, 1862 ; resigned. 

Company F — Catawba Guards, Catawba County — M. L. 
McCorkle, Captain, of Catawba County; commissioned June 

6, 1861. W. C. Wall, Captain, of Bichmond County; com- 
missioned May 10, 1864. Jacob H. Miller, First Lieuten- 
ant, of Catawba County; commissioned June 6, 1861. T. 
W. Wilson, First Lieutenant, of Catawba County; killed at 

■ Spottsylvania May 10, 1864. M.. L. Helton, Second Lieu- 
tenant, of Catawba County; commissioned June 6, 1861. 
R. A. Cobb, Second Lieutenant, of Catawba County; com- 
missioned Jime 6, 1861. G. P. Clay, Secpnd Lieutenant, of 
Catawba County; commissioned May 10, 1862. T. W. Wil- 
son, Second Lieutenant, of Catawba County; commissioned 
May 10, 1862. W. C. Wall, Second Lieutenant, of Rich- 
mond County; commissioned May 10, 1862. 

Company G^ — Granville Rifles — C. C. Blacknall, Captain, 
of Granville County; commissioned Jtine 11, 1861 ; wounded 
at Seven Pines ; promoted Major May 31, 1862 ; captured at 
Chancellorsville ; wounded and captured at Gettysburg; 
promoted Colonel August, 1863 ; mortally wounded 
September 19, 1864. I. J. Young, Captain, of Granville 
County; commissioned May 31, 1862; wounded May 31, 
1862, at Seven Pines; resigned August 1862; wounded at 
Malvern Hill. T. J. Crocker, Captain, of Granville County ; 

186 North Carolina Troops, l861-'65. 

commissioned August 15, 1862 ; wounded, disabled and re- 
signed. James A. Breedlove, Captain, of Granville County ; 
commissioned in 1864; wounded; promoted from First Lieu- 
tenant. Isaac J. Young, First Lieutenant, of Granville 
County; commissioned June 11, 1861; promoted, wounded, 
and resigned. T. J. Crocker, First Lieutenant, of Granville 
County; commissioned May 31, 1862; promoted, wounded, 
and resigned; J. A. Breedlove, First Lieutenant, of Gran- 
ville County; commissioned June 11, 1861; promoted and 
wounded. Washington F. Overton, First Lieutenant, of 
Granville County; commissioned in 1864; wounded and 
burned in woods at Chancellorsville. G. W. Kittrell, Second 
Lieutenant, of Granville County; commissioned June 11, 
1861. Vines E. Turner, Second Lieutenant, of Granville 
County; commissioned June 11, 1861; promoted Adjutant 
May 10, 1862 ; wounded at Cold Harbor Jime 27, 1862 ; pro- 
moted Assistant Quartermaster in 1863. T. J. Crocker, Sec- 
ond Lieutenant, of Granville County ; commissioned May 10, 
1862 ; promoted. William F. Gill, Second Lieutenant, of 
Franklin County; commissioned May 10, 1862; promoted 
from Sergeant-Major ; killed at Malvern Hill. W. F. Over- 
ton, Second Lieutenant, of Granville County; commissioned 
August 15, 1862 ; promoted and killed. J. A. Breedlove, 
Second Lieutenant, of Granville Cotinty; commissioned Au- 
gust 15, 1862 ; promoted and wounded. C. W. Champion, 
Second Lieutenant, of Granville County; commissioned No- 
vember 1, 1862; killed at Gettysburg. 

Company H — Gaston Guards — E. M. Faires, Captain, of 
Gaston County; commissioned June 12, 1861; resigned De- 
cember 1, 1861. W. P. Hill, Captain, of Gaston County; 
commissioned December 1, 1861 ; promoted from Sergeant. 
H. G. Turner, Captain, of Granville County; commissioned 
August 18, 1862 ; promoted from ranks of Savannah Guards ; 
desperately wounded and captured July 1, 1862, at Gettys- 
burg. R. M. Ratchf ord. First Lieutenant, of Gaston County ; 
commissioned June 12, 1861; resigned December, 1861. Jos. 
J. Wilson, First Lieutenant, of Gaston County ; commissioned 
December, 1861 ; promoted from Sergeant. Joseph B. F. 
Riddle, First Lieutenant, of Gaston County; commissioned 

Twenty-Third Regiment. 187 

May 10, 1862; wounded September 30, 1864; promoted 
from Sergeant. J. E. Hill, Second Lieutenant, of Gaston 
County ; commissioned May 10, 1861 ; promoted from ranks. 
T. N. Craig, Second Lieutenant, of Gaston County ; commis- 
sioned June 12, 1861. J. M. Kendrick, Second Lieutenant, 
of Gaston County; commissioned June 12, 1861; captured 
July 1, 1863, at Gettysburg. W. S. Floyd, Second Lieuten- 
ant, of Gaston County ; commissioned . 

Company I — Granville Stars — Rufus Amis, Captain, of 
Granville County; commissioned June 17, 1861. G. T. Bas- 
kerville. Captain, of Granville County; commissioned 1863; 
killed at Gettysburg. G. B. Bullock, Captain, of Granville 
County ; promoted from Second Lieutenant. E". A. Gregory, 
First Lieutenant, of Granville County; commissioned June 
17, 1861 ; wounded and disabled at Chancellor sville. G. 
B. Bullock, First Lieutenant, of Granville County. J. D. 
Knott, First Lieutenant, of Granville County ; commissioned 
May 8, 1862; killed at Seven Pines. A. M.. Luria, Second 
Lieutenant, of Georgia; commissioned June 17, 1861; killed 
at Seven Pines. T. K. Carrington, Second Lieutenant, of 
Granville County; commissioned June 17, 1861. G. B. 
Bullock, Second Lieutenant, of Granville County; promoted 
from ranks of Twelfth Regiment. J. D. Knott, Second Lieij- 
tenant, of Granville County; commissioned November 16, 
1861 ; promoted and killed. G. T. Sanford, Second Lieuten- 
ant, of Granville County; commissioned May' 20, 1862. W. 
B. Sims, Second Lieiitenant, of Granville County; commis- 
sioned May 20, 1862 ; promoted from ranks. 

Company K — Beattie's Ford Riflemen, Lincoln County — 
Robert D. Johnston, Captain, of Lincoln County; commis- 
sioned June 22, 1861 ; promoted Lieutenant-Colonel May 10, 

1862, and Brigadier-General in 1863. William H. John- 
ston, Captain, of Lincoln County; commissioned May 10, 
1862; promoted from First Lieutenant; captured July 1, 

1863, at Gettysburg. W. H. Johnston, First Lieutenant, of 
Lincoln County; commissioned June 22, 1861; promoted 
and captured. Daniel Reinhardt, First Lieutenant, of Lin- 
coln County; commissioned September, 1862. John F. 
Goodson, Second Jjieutenant, of Lincoln County; commis- 

188 North Carolina Troops, 1861-'65. 

sioned June 22, 1861. G. W* Hunter, Second Lieutenant, 
of Lincoln County; commissioned June 22, 1861. Daniel 
Eeinhardt, Second Lieutenant, of Lincoln County; commis- 
sioned May 10, 1862. J. A. Caldwell, Second Lieutenant, 
of Lincoln County; commissioned September 6, 1862. Wil- 
liam M. Munday, Second Lieutenant, of Lincoln County; 
commissioned September, 1862; promoted from ranks; 
wounded at Malvern Hill. H. W. FuUenwider, Second 
Lieutenant, of Lincoln County ; commissioned in May, 1863 ; 
promoted from ranks; killed. 

Nine of these companies were assembled in camp near Wel- 
don, N. C, and between that place and Garysburg, two miles 
distant, in June, 1861. Here the boys underwent a little 
more drilling than they liked. But they were patriots, one 
and all, and as some drilling might possibly be necessary even 
to whip Yankees, they submitted cheerfully. The other com- 
pany, the Anson Ellis Klifles, remained in camp at Raleigh till 
ordered to join the regiment as it left for Virginia. Garys- 
burg was the point of rendezvous. Here, in obedience to 
orders, the Line Officers of the ten companies met 10 July 
and elected Field Officers for the regiment as follows. The 
date, 10 July, 1861, shows the officers then elected. Other 
dates show the result of subsequent elections and promotions : 


John F. Hoke^ Colonel, of Lincoln County ; commissioned 
July 10, 1861. 

Daniel H. Cheistie^ Colonel, of Granville County; com- 
missioned May 10, 1862 ; wounded at Seven Pines; wounded 
at Cold Habor; mortally wounded July 1, 1863, at Gettys- 
burg; died in Winchester August, 1863. 

Chakles C. Blacknall, Colonel, of Granville County; 
commissioned August 15, 1863; wounded at Seven Pines; 
captured at Ch ancellorsville ; wounded and captured at Get- 
tysburg ; mortally wounded and captured-at Winchester Sep- 
tember 19, 1864; died November 6, 1864. 

Wm. S. Davis, Colonel, of Warren County ; commissioned 
October 1864 ; transferred from Twelfth Regiment ; wounded. 

Twenty-Third Regiment. 189 

John W. Leak, Lieutenant-Colonel, of Richmond County ; 
commissioned July 10, 1861. 

RoBT. D. JoHNSTONj Lieutcnant-Colonel, of Lincoln 
County; commissioned May 10, 1862; wounded at Seven 
Pines; wounded at Gettysburg; promoted Brigadier-General 
July, 1863 ; wounded at Spottsylvania. 

Daniel H. Cheistie, Major, of Granville County; com- 
missioned July 10, 1861 ; promoted. 

E. J. Christian, Major, of Montgomery County; com- 
missioned May 10, 1862; killed May 31, 1862, at Seven 

Charles C. Blacknall, Major, of Granville County; 
commissioned May 10, 1862 ; promoted from Captain of 
Company G. 

Isaac Jones Young, Adjutant, of Granville County ; com- 
tnissioned July 10, 1861 ; wounded July 1, 1862 ; promoted 
Captain of Company G and resigned in 1862. 

Vines E. Turner, Adjutant, of Granville County; com- 
missioned May 10, 1862 ; wounded at Cold Harbor June 27, 
1862 ; promoted to Captain and Assistant Quartermaster 
June, 1863. 

Junius French, Adjutant, of Yadkin County; commis- 
sioned June, 1863; killed July 1, 1863, at Gettysburg. 

Charles P. Powell, Adjutant, of Richmond County ; com- 
missioned July, 1863 ; killed May 9, 1864 at Spottsylvania 
Court House. 

Lawrence Everett, Adjutant, of Richmond County; 
commissioned May 12, 1864. 

Edwin G. Cheatham, Assistant Quartermaster, of Gran- 
ville County; commissioned July 10, 1861, resigned Febru- 
ary, 1862. 

W. I. Everett, Assistant Quartermaster, of Richmond 
County ; commissioned in 1862 ; resigned. 

Vines E. Turner, Assistant Quartermaster, of Granville 
County ; commissioned June, 1863. 

James F. Johnston, Assistant Commissary, of Lincobi 

Theophilus Moore, Chaplain, of Person County; later 
Rev. Mr. Berry. 

190 North Carolina Troops, 1861-65. 

EoBEET I. Hicks, Surgeon, of Granville County; T. 0. 
Caldwell, of Mecklenburg County, Assistant Surgeon; later 
Dr. Jordan, of Caswell County, killed at South Mountain. 

William E. Gill, Sergeant-Major, of Granville County; 
killed July 1, 1862 at Malvern Hill. 

Ci-iAELES P. Powell, of Richmond County; appointed 
May 10, 1862; promoted to Adjutant May 9, 1864. 

On 20 May, the day on which North Carolina seceded 
from the Union, the Confederate Capital had been 
removed from Montgomery to Richmond. It was now plain 
that the Old Dominion would be the theatre of the war. 
Thither the regiment was soon ordered, to return as an or- 
ganized body no more, with one brief exception, till the great 
drama of blood and ruin had to the last scene been acted. 

On Wednesday, 17 July, Colonel Hoke, with seven 
companies of the regiment, left the "Camp of Instruction" at 
Garysburg, N. C, in freight cars for Richmond, Va. Com- 
panies C, D and H, were for the time being necessarily left be- 
hind on account of the prevalence of measles among the men. 
Of this malady and in the person of John H. Harmer, Com- 
pany D, the regiment lost its second man, the first man being 
Wm. LoAvman, of Company A, who died while in camp at 

Four nights were spent in camp at "Rocketts" in the 
suburbs of Richmond. It was either here, or just before 
leaving Garysburg, that arms and ammunition were first 
issued to us. The arms consisted of smooth bore percussion 
muskets, with bayonets ; the ammunition of paper cartridges, 
containing ball and powder. A little later in the war we 
were armed with rifles captured from the enemy. 


Early on 21 July, a bright, hot Sunday, our seven 
companies entrained hurriedly in "box" cars for Manassas 
Junction. Enthusiasm was at flood tide in that period of 
boundless hope. Cheers greeted us on every side as we 
steamed forward and at the stations we were fed and feted. 
All knew that a battle was impending and later, by means of 
the telegraph line along the railroad, that it was being fought. 

Twenty-Third RKGijrENT. 191 

We were eager to go forward ; more eager, perhaps, than 
we were to reach later fields when experience had unmasked 
the true, grim visage of war. But many delays occurred. 
The running of the train was so erratic that the engineer was 
suspected of treason, though apparently without evident 
cause. The soldiers who crowded the tops of the cars in their 
eagerness to assist, put on brakes too hard. This caused one 
of the car trucks to take fire from friction, or come very near 
it. As some of the cars carried, or were believed to carry 
powder, the men stopped the train by means of the brakes and 
cut the endangered car loose till it cooled. 

But these delays were inconsiderable, compared with the 
long stop near the Rappahannock bridge, above Gordonsville. 
We had started full early and could have reached Manassas 
by noon, or soon after. The presence of TOO men, fresh on 
tlae field, might have had great weight at more than one junc- 
ture of that dubious battle. But we were sidetracked to meet 
many trains of wounded, which began to pass us at Louisa 
Court House. During Sunday night we pulled into Man- 
assas Junction. Monday was a rainy, chilly, dismal day. 
The men had stopped their cheering and horse play when the 
cars of bloody-bandaged wounded passed them the day before 
at Louisa Court House. The night spent on the hard car 
flooi's seemed a real hardship. The twenty-four hours fast — 
we had left Richmond too suddenly to prepare rations — 
seemed then to border on the heroic. The Manassas water 
reddened by contact with the mud, then knee deep around the 
station, drank like blood. The rows of untended wounded 
who had lain all night on the field in the rain, some of them 
horribly mutilated, grew longer and longer as the ambulances 
came and wont. The pile of amputated limbs, naked and 
whitened by tlie chilling rains, grew higher and higher out- 
side an amputating tent hard-by the roadside. It was prob- 
ably the most miserable and trying day that the regiment 
spent diiring tlae war. The time when the Confederate sol- 
dier was to become the marching, fighting, fasting machine 
that he did, insensible almost to hunger, cold and mental de- 
pression, was yet some distance ahead. 

We went into camp at Camp Wigf all, one and a quarter 

192 North Carolina Troops, 1861-'65. 

miles from the Junction. The three companies left at 
Garysburg under Major Christie, broke camp there on 5 
August, and after a few days delay in Kichmond wait- 
ing for transportation, rejoined us here. For several weeks 
encamped at this place, the regiment suffered exceedingly 
from the diseases which then, and even now, seem unescapa- 
ble by the u.nseason6d soldier. By the surgeon's statement, 
the sick call at one time numbered 240, 57 of the cases being 
typhoid fever. The mortality was large. 

After spending several weeks here our first march was 
made to Camp Ellis, five miles distant, where we remained six 
weeks. Near here, at Sangster's Cross Eoads, our first picket 
duty was performed. A little later at Mason's Hill the 
whole regiment went on its first picket. 17 September 
we pitched camp and began a long stay at Union Mills. ISTear 
here, on Bull Run, we built log huts and went into winter 
quarters in December, where we remained with only such 
changes in position as the exigencies of the situation in out- 
post and picket duty required. This gave us an opportunity 
to enjoy the boundless hospitality of the people of this part 
of Virginia, upon whom the iron hand of the war was soon 
to fall with such crushing weight. 

Meantime the regiment had been brigaded with the Fifth 
North Carolina "State Troops," Colonel Duncan K. McRae ; 
the Twentieth Georgia, Colonel Smith; the Twenty-fourth 
Virginia, Colonel Jubal A. Early; and the Thirty-eighth 
Virginia, Colonel Jubal Earles. Colonel Early being the 
ranking officer, he was placed in command, and subsequently 
commissioned Brigadier-General. General Earl Van Dorn 
commanded the division. General Beauregard the corps. Gen- 
eral Joseph E. Johnston the army. The army was then known 
as the Army of the Potomac — ^later upon the abandonment 
of that line of defense, as the Army of Northern Virginia. 
In the fall and winter of 1861, many changes took place in 
the Line Officers of the regiment. 

The winter was a severe and trying one. After January 
1, 1862, snow, hail, sleet or rain fell almost every day. Fre- 
quently all fell the same day. War doffed her holiday mask 
worn during the tramping from camp to camp, and from 

Twenty-Third Regiment. 193 

picket to picket post in the splendid weather of the past Au- 
tumn. Such duties now imposed hardships of a serious and 
often dangerous nature. JSTot yet hardened to endure all 
things, as in time they were, the men suffered intensely from 
exposure. Great was the mortality from pneumonia, typhoid 
fever and other diseases. 


The early spring of 1862 found the Confederate army 
along Bull Run and north of that stream, less than 50,000 
strong. The Federal hosts under McClellan, confronted it 
over 100,000 strong. Before the opening of Spring rendered 
military operations feasible on a large scale, General John- 
ston decided to withdraw from his exposed position to a 
stronger line south of the Rappahannock. There he would 
also be in better position to meet and check any advance of 
the enemy whether direct or circuitous, as subsequently 

The beginning of the retrograde movement found the regi- 
ment on picket duty at Burke's Station, on the Orange and 
Alexandria Railroad, and in close proximity to the enemy 
who were encamped in the neighborhood of Alexandria and 
Springfield. The old camp on Bull Run was abandoned 
8 March. We moved out at daylight, throwing away 
tents and camp equipage; sum total of the first day's 
march one and a half miles, progress being checked by eon- 
fusion of orders. Early was now acting as Major-General, 
in command of the Fourth division. 

ISTot until sunset of the 9th, did the grand column move 
again, reaching Manassas Junction that night. The last we 
saw of the famous stone bridge across Bull Run, it was in 
flames. Strictly speaking, stone bridge was a misnomer, all 
but the abutments being of wood. An immense amount of 
property was destroyed as the iiecessity of change of base 
to the Peninsula was now anticipated. A very carnival, re- 
strained to some extent by the military discipline, reigned 
that night at the junction. The soldiers got rich with plun- 
der. Depots of supplies and the express office were fired. 

194 North Carolina Troops, 1861-65. 

Barrels of whiskey were opened at the head and their con- 
tents poured in streams on the ground. A rough soldier was 
observed with six canteens of whiskey around his neck, as if 
"he wept such waste to see," actually wading in a puddle of 
the joyful, while in a ditty, tuneless, but gay, he whistled his 
regrets over "departed spirits." 

The next position was south of the Kappahannock. Large 
numbers of refugees accompanied the . army in the retreat. 
Details of our regiment, as from others, were made to guard 
and as far as possible, aid them in their wild flight. As the 
command waded the Rappahannock it witnessed a distressing 
accident to one. of the unfortunates — a widowed lady, half 
frantic lest she be left behind and taken by the Yankees, 
missed the ford in driving across the river and was swept 
down to death by the rapid waters. 

For several weeks the army remained in position south of 
the Rappahannock awaiting a further development of the 
Federal plans. Then came a long, slow, impeded march 
along the Orange and Alexandria Railroad. How like a 
sealed book to the private soldier are the plans of his leaders. 
How futile our conjectures as to the purpose of our move and 
the objects to be gained by it. Many yearning hearts — in 
which the wish was father to the thought — saw in this south- 
ern trend only a return to ISTorth Carolina. 

7 April, we took the cars at Orange Court House and 
that night, a dark and rainy one, found us in Richmond. Af- 
ter a hastily eaten midnight supper, prepared for us in the 
market house by the exlaaustless hospitality of the good people 
of Richmond, we were marched to the Yorktown depot. This 
was the first intimation of our destination. Going by rail 
sixty miles to West Point, Ave here took schooners for York- 
town, thirty miles below. 


8 April, one month after the beginning of the' with- 
drawal from iianassas the regiment, with other commands, 
reached Yorktown. Here we got our first experience of the 
trying duties of life in the trenches, including much toil with 
pick and shovel. On the lYth, after nine days behind the 

Twenty-Third Regiment. 195 

breastworks, tlie boys had their first experience with earinon 
balls and bomb-shells. The opposing batteries were about 
three-fourths of a mile apart. The pickets were in rifle pits 
several hundred yards in advance, and on that day more than 
one shell exploded in uncomfortable proximity to them. 
When the first shot was fired direct at the position occupied 
by the Twenty-third (then the Thirteenth), the writer (H. 
0. Wall) was on duty in the rifle pits as Sergeant in com- 
mand. Well is remembered the "sensation" produced by the 
first shell that fanned the cheeks' of ye innocent braves who 
occupied those rifle pits, and particularly the moving effect 
wrought upon a certain tongue-tied individual, whose deport- 
ment now, as contrasted with previous pretensions, presented 
a striking consistency with the spirit of the ancient ballad : 

"ISTought to him possesses greater charms 

Upon a Sunday or a holiday. 
Than a snug chat of war and war's alarms. 

While people fight in Turkey, far away." 

For, with a precipitate bound, the tongue-tied warrior 
made tracks for the bi'eastworks exclaiming, in answer to re- 
monstrances and threats of court-martial: "Dam 'fi come here 
to be hulled out this way when I can't see who's a shootin' at 
me" — using the terms hulled instead of shelled as synony- 
mous, though he hardly thought of it at the time. At a period 
a little later in the service, such conduct would have been most 
severely punished. But it is not remembered that "Dam 
'fi" got more than a sharp reprimand and orders for an in- 
stant return to his post. If he ever afterwards flinched, we 
were not informed of it. He was killed at Gettysburg. 

As the sharpshooting grew hotter the pickets could be 
posted and relieved only at night. The opposing pickets 
fired at everything in sight. For a space the boys on such 
duty embraced mother earth more intimately than they had 
before deemed possible. But they gradually learned that 
shooting and hitting were by no means synonymous terms. 
At length before the evacuation some of them, at least, pre- 
ferr«^d a prone position out on the open to the pits half filled 

196 North Carolina Tkoops, 1861 -'65. 

with water by the almost incessant rains. The trenckea 
themselves filled with water and could not be drained. Yet 
the artillery and rifle fire of the enemy held the men close 
down in them. ISTo fire could be kindled day or night with- 
out its becoming the focus of heavy shell fire and it was there- 
fore strictly forbidden. The only food was flour and salt 
meat and these in diminishing quantities. Food was cooked 
by details in the rear and brought forward to us. Men sick- 
ened by thousands. Soldiers actually died in the naud and 
water of the trenches before they could be taken to the hos- 
pital. And as many of the cases of illness were measles, this 
exposure meant death. Thus unavoidably died a dog's death 
many a gallant fellow, who, if spared, would have upheld with 
his life the Confederate standard, through thick and thin, 
and to the bitter end. It is not death amid the rapture of 
the fray that makes war most horrible, but the passing within 
the dark door of such men under such circum- 
stances. Yet the term of service at Yorktown was not all 
irksome, nor was it unmarked by occasional diversions from 
the tread-mill routine of duty. About the quaint old town 
were many points of interest that awakened patriotic contem- 
plation. The marble slab half a^ mile from town, 'marking 
the spot where eighty years before Cornwallis had surren- 
dered to Washington, was a favorite place of visitation. 

Standing there on consecrated ground many a fond prayer 
was breathed that this self-same spot which witnessed the 
achievement of American Independence might also see the ac- 
complishment of Southern Independence. 

The comparatively insignificant Confederate force at 
YorktoviTi had now held McClellan's vast army at bay for 
weeks, while troops were being concentrated higher up for 
the defense of the Southern Capital. The Confederate posi- 
tion exposed as it was to turning movements by the Federal 
fleet on both flanks was clearly untenable. The sole object of 
Southern strategy, after General Johnston made personal in- 
spection of the surroundings, was simply to check the invasion 
till the above concentration was completed. 

This having been accomplished and holding the enemy in 
check longer, being possible only by a pitched battle, which it" 

Twenty-Third Regiment. 197 

was not desired to fight, the Southern forces were quietly 
withdrawn 4 May. A deed which, in the heroic days to 
come, would have passed unnoticed, impressed the unseasoned 
soldiers, and is yet remembered by many. On the day of the 
evacuation, part of the Twenty-third were in the rifle pits, 
which were that day subjected to a fire of unusual keenness. 
When the officers in the trenches knew that the retreat would 
begin that night, there was some apprehension that the men 
in the rifle pits should be captured unless given exact orders 
what to do. For this purpose Captain C. 0. Blacknall, Com- 
pany G, left the shelter of the trenches under a ceaseless fire 
at 400 yards, made the circle of the pits, gave the men their 
orders and returned unharmed. The detail for picket duty 
from our regiment was the last to leave the works, being re- 
lieved by the cavalry at midnight. We marched all night. 
At dawn when six miles out we heard the furious cannonad- 
ing of McClellan's assault on our empty intrenchments. 


The retreat, which was much impeded by the slow move- 
ment of the wagon trains over the miry roads, was tardy and 
tedious in the extreme. The ancient town of Williamsburg, 
in Colonial days the Capital of the Old Dominion, stands only 
twelve miles from Yorktown. The afternoon of 5 May, a 
rainy day in the midst of the proverbial cold, wet spell in 
May, found us only a mile or so above Williamsburg, wait- 
ing to see if our aid would be necessary in the expected bat- 

From this point Early's Brigade — now composed of the 
Fifth and Twenty-third (then Thirteenth) North Carolina, 
the Twenty-fourth Virginia and the Second Florida Bat- 
talion — were ordered back to aid Longstreet in resisting the 
inconveniently eager pursuit of the enemy, for part of the 
trains were stalled in the deep mud where they stopped the 
night before, and must be protected or abandoned. The bat- 
tle was fought on almost the same ground on which the Amer- 
icans and British contended in 1781. We passed at double 
quick through the muddy streets of the historic town, pained 

198 North Carolina Troops, 1861-'65. 

at the shrieks of women and children who were terrified at 
the bloody drama then going on in their full view. A short 
pause to deposit in the campus of classic William and Mary 
College all knapsacks, extra plunder, etc., none of which we 
ever saw again — and we are out upon our first battle field. 

The design was a charge by Early's Brigade against a 
strong position manned by Hancock's Brigade on the enemy's 
right. When drawn up in line for the forward movement, 
General Early rode the length of the brigade using, in that 
fine- toned voice of his, something like the words: "Boys, 
you must do your duty." The line advanced a hundred yards 
or more through a wheat field wet with the cold rain which 
had fallen that day, but which had now ceased. Then our 
regiment was confronted by a forest of trees and thick under- 
growth. The line at once became irregular and more or less 
jumbled by the reason of the natural obstacle to its progress. 
These woods also shut out the view and caused the line of the 
regiment's advance to be slightly deflected to the left, by 
which it lost touch with the Fifth, on our right. At this 
moment General D. H. Hill appeared, mounted, in our front, 
and said sharply to the men, now endeavoring to regain their 
alignment, and each one commanding his fellow, "hush your 
infernal noise." 

In one instant imore the right wing of the brigade, having 
greatly the advantage of the ground in marching, came first in 
view of the enemy's battery, and charging forward in the 
open, outstripped the movement of the Twenty-third, impeded 
by the woods, received a withering fire and was hurled back 
by a fury of shot and shell irresistible by mortal force. The 
Fifth North Carolina made a gallant, but fruitless charge, 
losing many gallant lives, and our regiment was not on hand 
to support it at the critical moment. That moment was of the 
briefest possible span — like a sea wave against the sea wall, 
the charge bounded back almost instantly. 

Colonel D. K. McEae, of the Fifth North Carolina, alleged 
that the Twenty-third (then the Thirteenth) was inexcusably 
derelict in duty and that Colonel Hoke halted the regiment 
without orders. Colonel Hoke, on the contrary, maintained 
that General Early gave the order to halt, which assertion 

Twenty-Third Regiment. 199 

was never denied by General Early. Whether the order to 
"halt" was given us before or after the batteries opened on 
the assaulting line, would be hard to tell, for this halt of the 
regiment appeared to be about the same moment that a por- 
tion of the assaulting forces were rushing pell-mell back from 
the attack. It was all the work of a few minutes and the 
brigade, chagrined by defeat, and mourning the loss of many 
gallant spirits, fell back in good order. The enemy seemed 
content to hold his own, without much further effort to ad- 
vance his line as night came on. Only four or five men in 
our regiment were wounded, and all but one of them by ran- 
dom bullets. Captain C. C. Blacknall, Company G, in 
eagerly leading his company forward through the woods, got 
some distance in advance, where he came suddenly upon two 
Federals lying down in the brush. Receiving untouched the 
fire of one at three paces, he sprang forward with his sword 
and made them prisoners. The ball that missed the Cap- 
tain struck James A. Gill, of Company G. This was the 
first wound of the war received by a member of the Twenty- 
third. Mr. Gill recovered from his wound and still, at the 
end of thirty-eight years, survives. 

Genera] Joseph E. Johnston, in conversation with me (H. 
C. Wall) several years after the war, placed the responsibility 
of the charge upon General D. H. Irlill. lie said that he did 
not order it to be made and permitted it only after repeated 
requests from General Hill. Much was said at the time, 
and afterwards, of the part our regiment took in the battle of 
Williamsburg. Blunders there may have been, blunders una- 
voidable by a command manoevering under such circum- 
stances and amid the exigencies of real warfare for the first 
time; but the writer of these lines (V. E. Turner) was pres- 
ent as one of its Line Officers, and had every opportunity to 
be fully conversant with the spirit that animated the regi- 
ment. He was conversant with it, and he knows that ofiicers 
and men were as willing, and even as eager to do their duty as 
any command in the Southern army. The well known ten- 
dency of a man or body of men, endeavoring to go straight 
forward, but unguided by any distinct objective ahead, as we 
were in these woods, to bear unconsciously to the left, had pos- 

200 North Carolina Troops, 1861-'65. 

sibly had its effect on the deflection in our advance and our 
separation from the regiment on our right. 

Wet as rain can make us, with knapsacks and every shred 
of extra clothing gone, we marched back to the brow of the 
hill, where we first formed in line of battle. Here amid mud 
and rain we were held in line of battle till 3 a. m. As there 
was momentary expectation of attack, not a spark of fire was 
allowed. Then twelve miles were tramped, or rather stumbled, 
through darkness, mud and slush, before halt was made for 
rest or sleep. The tenacious mire was often knee deep. Shoes 
were pulled from our feet by it and lost. Pantaloons became 
so caked and weighted with mud that many, in sheer despe- 
ration and utter inability in their exhaustion, to carry an 
extra ounce, cut off and threw away all below the knees. All 
that night we had no food, nor the next day, though lunging 
desperately forward over virtually impassable roads. The 
following day, the 7th, found us still marching and fasting, 
or rather, famishing. Blessed indeed were the squad or two 
that found and shot a razor-back hog. But we were the rear 
guard and even razor backs had become scarce and wary after 
being hunted by the 30,000 hungry mouths that had preceded 
us. One of our Captains who was lucky enough to get an ear 
of corn a day, always spoke of it as the parched corn march. 

Many of the troops "caved" in from sheer exhaustion and 
starvation. The case of Sergeant Malcolm ISTicholson, Com- 
pany D., which occurred a little later in the retreat, will 
illustrate our sufferings as well as the grim resolve of the 
men to keep up with the colors up to the point of absolute 
physical collapse. This stripling refused to succumb or fall 
out till at a halt one night he toppled over. His comrades 
tucked him away in an old wagon body lying near. When 
the order to "fall in" came, and they went to arouse him, 
they found that death had given him his discharge and that 
the weary marching of the boy sergeant was over forever. 

On the evening of 9 May, the Chickahominy was 
reached, the wagons overtaken and the worst hardship of the 
march, whose sufferings remained ever vivid to the men vt}io 
clung to the fortunes of the Confederacy to the bitter end, 
was over. 


1. J. H. Horner, Captain, Co. E. 4. V. E. Turner.Captain, Quart. Master. 

8. Frank Bennett, Captain, Co. A. 5. Abner D Peace, Captain. Co E 

8. H. G. Turner, Captain, Co. H. 6. Geo T. Baskerville, Captain, Co. I 

7. Jas. A. Breedlove. Captain, Co. G. 

Twenty-Third Regiment. 201 

the eeoeganization. 

While camped on the banks of the Chickahominy at Bar- 
rett's Ferry, the regiment was re-organized. This was hast- 
ened in order to take advantage of a provision in the Confed- 
erate Conscript Act, passed 16 April, 1862. This provision 
allowed .troops whose term of enlistment had not expired, to 
re-organize with all the privileges, as to election of ofRcer^^, 
which they had before the act was passed, provided the re- 
organization was effected within forty days from the passing 
of the act. With that period lapsed the Confederate soldier's 
right to choose his own officers, all commissioned officers being 
thereafter appointed by the President of the Confederacy. 

Thus a re-organization of most of the Volunteer North 
Carolina regiments in that army, a perilous thing in face of 
a vastly superior enemy, took place about this time, an event 
unparalleled in the annals of history. A large proportion of 
officers failing of re-election, their places were filled with 
men raised from the ranks, or from subordinate positions. 
Nearly, or quite all the commands, had in their ranlvs plenty 
of men competent to serve as commissioned officers. But 
many thus elevated were not qualified by sufficient experience 
for command, and the presence of so many inexperienced of- 
ficers told against the South a month later in the prolonged 
death grapple with the enemy in the Chickahominy swamps, 
known as the Seven Days' Fighting. That under such circum- 
stances victory should have crowned Southern effort, attest the 
dauntless valor of Southern troops. 

Our boys, prompted more perhaps by the desire for change, 
a strong factor in all lives and strongest of all in the monot- 
onous life of a soldier, elected as a rule, new Line Officers. 

The following change was made in Field Officers : Daniel 
H. Christie was elected Colonel in place of John F. Hoke; 
Robert D. Johnston, lormerly Captain of Company K, Lieu- 
tenant-Colonel ; Ed. J. Christian, former First Lieutenant of 
Company C, Major ; Vines E. Turner, former Second Lieu- 
tenant in Company G, Adjutant. That night the officers 
who had failed of re-election bade us farewell, took leave for 
Richmond and later sought, most of them, other positions in 

202 North Carolina Troops, 1861-'65. 

which to serve their struggling country. Our regiment for- 
'merly the Thirteenth North Carolina Volunteers, was there- 
after known as the Twenty-third North Carolina Troops. 

In pursuance of our plan to briefly outline the careers of 
the Field Officers of the regiment, we give the following 
sketch of John F. Hoke, the retiring Colonel. 


Colonel Hoke was born in Lincoln County, IsT. C, 8 May, 
1820. He was a graduate of the University of ISTorth Caro- 
lina, and a lawyer by profession. He served with credit as 
First Lieutenant in Captain W. J. Clarke's company in the 
Mexican war, taking part in the campaign which resulted in 
the capture of the City of Mexico. Subsequently he served 
several terms in the Legislature. At the outbreak of the 
War for Southern Independence, he was appointed Adjutant- 
General of North Carolina, serving till the ten regiments of 
"State Troops" and thirteen regiments of "Volunteers" were 
organized and equipped. In July, 1861, he was elected Colonel 
of the Thirteenth (later Twenty-third) North Carolina Vol- 
unteers, and commanded the regiment until its reorganiza- 
tion, 10 May, 1862. Failing of re-election, he returned to 
North Carolina and in 1864 became Colonel of the Seventy- 
fourth Regiment, Second Senior Reserves). The close of 
the war found him guarding prisoners at Salisbury. He died 
in November, 1888. Colonel Hoke was an upright, honora- 
ble and cultivated gentleman. Great kindness and consider- 
ation characterized his bearing towards the subordinate of- 
ficers of his regiment. 


John W. Leak was born in Richmond County, N. C, 16 
March, 1816. His grandfather, Walter Leak, Sr., served 
throughout the Revolutionary War as a private in the Amer- 
ican army, and died in the town of Rockingham, in 1844, at 
an advanced age. 

He graduated at Randolph-Macon College about 1837. 

In July, 1861, he was elected Lieutenant-Colonel of our 
regiment. This office he filled till the re-organization of the 
regiment in May, 1862, when, as was the case with many of 

Twenty-Third Regiment. 203 

the officers, he failed of re-election. Being then well ad- 
vanced into middle age, he retired to private life and became 
prominent in the cotton mill interests at Rockingham. He 
died in May, 18Y4. 


The retreat from the peninsula and up the south banks of 
the Chickahominj, brought us within sight of Richmond on 
Sunday, 18 May. We pitched camp in a dense undergrowth 
of woods, one and a half miles from the city, on the 
eastern side. Soon the invading Federal hosts drew nearer. 
Day by day portents of a desperate strife to come, accumu- 
late. Picket firing grows heavier and more persistent, and 
the shriek and roar of bursting shells seemed to have become 
part of the natural order of things. 

The strategy of the battle of Seven Pines, or Fair Oaks, as 
it is sometimes called, was exceedingly simple. 

McClellan had thrown Keyes'" Corps, composed of Casey's 
and Couch's divisions, and TIeintzelman's composed of Hook- 
er's and Kearney's divisions, to the southern bank of the 
Chickahominy, and Casey had advanced to Seven Pines and 
fortified. Couch's line was about a mile and a quarter in the 
rear of Casey's. Hooker and Kearney were in rear of Couch. 
On Friday night, 30 May, a violent thunder and rain 
storm had greatly swollen the streams, and Johnston seized 
upon this opportunity to deal with his vastly superior foe in 
detail. He hoped to crush these isolated divisions before 
more troops could be thrown across the swollen Chickahominy 
to reinforce them. D. H. Hill's division, supported by Long- 
street's, was to attack in front; Huger's division was to at- 
tack the enemy's left flank, and Smith's his right. 

The Twenty-third took an important and most gallant part, 
both in the battle of Seven Pines and in the reconnoissance 
on the Williamsburg road the day before, which disclosed the 
situation of the enemy and led to the Confederate attack. In 
this sortie doAvn the Williamsburg road 30 May, several 
men were wounded and Captain Ambrose Scarborough, of 
Company C, in command of the four companies reconnoiter- 
ing, was killed. In the person of this gallant officer the reg- 

204 North Cakolina Troops, 1861-'65. 

iment lost its first man from a hostile bullet. Captain Frank 
Bennett commanded the advance line of sharpshooters, who 
really developed the enemy's strength, was severely wounded, 
being disabled for months. 

In the attack at Seven Pines, made in the afternoon of 
Saturday, 31 May, 1862, the Twenty-third belonged to Gar- 
land's Brigade. This with three other brigades, Kodes', G. 
B. Anderson's and Raines', formed Ilill's division, which as- 
saulted the strongly fortified Federal front. Few attacks in 
war were ever made under circumstances more unfavorable to 
the assaulting force. A swamp, in some places waist deep in 
water and thick with undergrowth and tangled vine, had to be 
crossed, and a skillfully made abatis confronted and strug- 
gled through before the heavily manned hostile works beyond 
could be reached. Through them all swept the regiment in 
line, with its comrade commands, under a fire of musketry 
and artillery as hot as mortal men ever breasted with success. 
Many a gallant fellow was stricken down dead or wounded. 
Some rendered helpless by wound-s, not necessarily fatal, sank 
and were drowned in the deep waters of the swamp. 

Finer* tribute to fighting men was never paid than, that 
by a Northern writer who saw the battle from the point of 
view which we assailed — there being no hotter section of that 
fire-swept line than which fate assigned to the Twenty-third. 
This writer says: "Our shot tore their ranks wide open, 
and shattered them in a manner frightful to behold, but they 
closed up and came on as steadily as English Veterans. When 
they got within four hundred yards we closed our case shot 
and opened on them with canister. Such destruction I never 
witnessed. At each discharge great gaps were made in their 
ranks. * * But they at once closed and came steadily on, 
never halting, never wavering, right through the woods 
(swamp), over the fence, through the field, right up to our 
guns, and sweeping everything before them, captured our ar- 
tillery and cut our whole division to pieces." 

Huger's turning movement far to our right had been 
stopped by impassable streams. Smith's attack far to our 
left, where General Johnston commanded in person, had been 
beaten off, and the Oommander-in-Ohief severely wounded. 

Twenty-Third Regiment. 205 

But in our front the victory was complete. After two hours, 
ending in the brilliant charge described above, Casey's works 
were carried and his routed line driven back on Couch's. 
Then the division reinforced by only one, R. H. Anderson's, 
smashed Couch, though reinforced by Kearney, and drove all 
back on their third line two miles in rear of the first line. 
Twelve pieces of artillery and 6,000 stands of small arms, 
were taken. Darkness put an end to the battle. 

Biit a heavy blood equivalent was paid for the victory. 
Owing to much sickness the regiment, according to the state- 
ment of Captain A. T. Cole, was able to go into this action 
only about 225 strong. Moore's Roster, which in countless 
instances, and pr6bably in this, is incomplete, shows that 
twenty-four privates and non-commissioned officers were 
killed, and ninety-five wounded, sixteen of them mortally. 
As will be seen, this was an exceeding large proportion of the 
number engaged. 

There were also many casualties among the commissioned 
officers. None of the Field Officers escaped injury. Colo- 
nel Christie was wounded. Lieutenant-Colonel R. D. John- 
ston was wounded in the arm, face and neck, had his horse 
killed xmder him and was shot down within fifty feet of the 
hostile works. Captain C. C. Blacknall, Company G, who, 
unable to walk, owing to a sprained ankle, had gone into 
action mounted, was grazed by seven balls, and received 
a painful bruise near the spine from a fragment of shell. He 
also received painful injuries from his horse, which was killed 
and fell on him. Captain William Johnston, Company K, 
and Lieutenant E. A. McDonald, Company D, were also 
wounded. Lieutenants J. D. Knott and A. M. Luria, of 
Company I, were killed. Luria was a gallant young fellow. 
It was at Seawell's Point that he did a heroic act, which, had 
he been a British soldier, would have brought him the Victo- 
ria Cross and caused the world to ring with his name. While 
there early in 1861, either as a visitor or as a member of Col- 
quitt's command, before he joined the Twenty-third, a shell 
from the Federal gunboats dropped among the Confederates. 
With rare presence of mind and devotion, he seized the shell 
and threw it over the works before it could explode. At our 

206 North Carolina Troops, 1861-65. 

reorganization he refused promotion, saying that he wished 
nothing unless won on the battle field. Major E. J. Chris- 
tian was mortally wounded, dying a few days later. 


Major Edmund J. Christian was born in Montgomery 
County, ISr. C, in 1834. His uncle, Samuel H. Christian, 
was elected to the Confederate Congress, but died 
before taking his seat. While a boy, his father died, leaving 
his mother and her other children largely dependent on him, 
which duty he successfully performed. Major Christian was 
a farmer by vocation. He was a man of magnificent physique 
and had no bad habits. On the outbreak of war he enlisted 
as a private,, but was elected Lieutenant, in the Montgomery 
Vounteers ISTo. 1, which became Company C on the organiza- 
tion of the regiment. Upon the reorganization, 10 May, 
1862, he was elected Major, to fall in battle just three weeks 
later. At Seven Pines he had received two wounds, either of 
which would have justified his retirement from the field. But 
he pluckily went forward at the head of his men till stricken 
down with the third and mortal wound. He was conveyed to 
a private house in Richmond, tenderly nursed for the two or 
three days he had to live, and was laid to rest in the Confed- 
erate Capital which he had died to defend. Lieutenant W. 
P. Gill, of Company G, was also wounded. 

Captain C. C. Blacknall, Company G, was promoted to 
Major on the death of Major Christian. 

The courage and dash of the men and officers in this 
bloody onslaiight, has never been surpassed. When in the 
impetuosity of the onset through the vine-tangled swamp, the 
three right companies became temporarily separated from 
the regiment. Lieutenant-Colonel Johnston led them gal- 
lantly forward with the Fourth Regiment. Splendidly did 
the whole command show its alacrity to meet and close with 
the foe, no matter what the obstacles, so that they knew 
where he was and there was no confusion of orders 
as in the woods at Williamsburg. The conduct of private 
Wm. C. Cole, brother of Captain A. T. Cole, at Seven Pines, 

Twenty-Third Regiment. 207 

is a good illustration of the high resolve of the men to do their 
full duty. This youth, a mere stripling and in poor health 
from the hardships of the campaign, found in the thick of 
the fight, that the channel of the tube was obstructed, and 
that his musket would not fire, sat down imder a hot fire, re- 
moved the tube with his wrench, screwed home a new one, 
caught up with the line at a few bounds and continued to 
load and fire as long as a Yankee was in. sight. 

After Seven Pines, the regiment went into camp near 
Richmond and passed several weeks in drilling. Here on 
Tuesday, 17 June, it was re-brigaded, being now placed 
in brigade with the Fifth, Twelfth, Thirteenth and Twenti- 
eth, all ISTorth Carolina regiments. Samuel Garland, Jr., of 
Lynchburg, Va., remained in command as Brigadier. Soon 
after the wounding of General Joseph E. Johnston at Seven 
Pines, General R. E. Lee became Commander-in-Chief of the 


As the month of June, 1862, wore away, McClellan's plans 
developed. The Confederate Capital was to be taken by reg- 
ular approaches. The 26 June found his splendidly 
organized and equipped army of at least 105,000 ef- 
fectives, strongly intrenched on a line straddling the Chick- 
ahominy and extending from White Oak Swamp, twelve 
miles soiitheast of Richmond, to Mechanicsville, six miles 
northeast. The line, especially that part north of the Chick- 
ahominy, ran along positions of great natural strength, rugged 
bluffs protected largely by streams or swamps on the side next 
to the Confederates. 

The soutliern strategy of this protracted death grapple, so 
well described by its name, the Seven Days Fighting, was 
masterly — as brilliant as history records. The valor and 
staying powers evinced by the Southern soldiers in that pro- 
longed combat is scarcely matched in the annals of time. But 
for an apparently inherent defect in the Southern mind — its 
inability to master, or its universal contempt for, the practi- 
cal details of things, the invading hosts would in all likeli- 

208 North GAROLI^:A Troops, 18t)l-'65. 

hood have met its doom in the Chickahominy swamps. Had 
Southern practicalness been at all commensurate with South- 
ern generalship and Southern courage, it is hard to see how 
McClellan's army could have escaped ruin, if not total de- 
struction. This unpracticalness manifested itself here in 
the failure to prepare accurate topographical maps of a region 
which the trend of events had, for months, pointed out as the 
most probable scene of conflict. 

The position of the Federal army was, on the whole, nat- 
urally very strong and made as much stronger as engineering 
skill could make it. But owing to the isolating effect of the 
many streams and swamps, difficult of passage, it gave the 
opportunity of the war to the qualities in which the Southern 
army excelled — prowess and military genius. In this in- 
stance these qualities were largely negatived by the fact that 
the Confederate leaders fought and maneuvered over a region 
of whose exact topography they knew scarcely more than of 
the craters in the moon. The result of this ignorance of nat- 
ural obstacles, and of the roads that turn them, was that 
thousands of gallant men, the very flower of the Southern 
army, were needlessly and heedlessly sacrificed, and that a 
half victory cost double the price for what a whole victory 
could have been obtained. 

Lee's plans were that Jackson, then in the Shenandoah 
Valley, by a rapid and secret march, should strike the right 
flank of this twenty-mile line, while he smote its right front. 
Then beginning at the end, 55,000 of his 80,000 men, were to 
be thrown impetuously against the Federal line, flanking it 
as far as practicable, and rolling it back upon itself, compass 
its destruction if possible. 

After Seven Pines the Twenty-third was assigned a posi- 
tion near the left wing of the army. Our tents were pitched 
on the banks of a small stream about 600 yards in the rear of 
the works. As an advance of the enemy was hourly expected, 
the orders were that upon the sound of a bugle at brigade 
headqxiarters, the regiment must be formed in 'five minutes 
with three days' rations, canteens filled and forty rounds of 
ammunition per man, ready to march rapidly to it§ place in 
line. This rendered it necessary for the men to sleep with 

Twenty-Third Regiment. 209 

their cartridge belts on and haversacks and canteens by their 
sides. Mounted officers had to keep their horses saddled. 
No one was allowed to be absent from the command for a 
moment. Many such alarms were given by day and by 
night. Two weeks of this rigid discipline made the order to 
advance a genuine relief. 

The fighting began in earnest on Thursday, 26 June, a 
fine cloudless day. On the afternoon of that day A. P. Hill 
moved to the east and without waiting for Jackson's appear- 
ance on the Federal flank, as had been agreed, assaulted in 
front the impregnable lines on Beaver Dam Creek, a small 
stream running north and south, and emptying into the 
Chickahominy. The result was that he M'as beaten off with 
the loss of over 3,000 men, a loss nearly ten times as great as 
he inflicted on the enemy. This is often called the battle of 
Mechaniesville from a very small village at the cross roads a 
mile west of the stream. [This premature assault and conse- 
quent disastrous and useless loss of life General A. P. Hill 
afterward repeated at Gettysburg and at Bristoe Sta- 
tion. — Ed. J 

The Twenty-third, which belonged to D. H. Hill's divis- 
ion, was not actively engaged on the 26th. About 11 a. m. 
of that day, we left our position in line and marched to the 
left, striking the Mechaniesville road as we filed down the 
hill towards a little stream. To the left of our line of march 
could be seen a group of high Confederate oflicers, including 
President Davis, Generals Lee, Longstreet, D. H. Hill, Gar- 
land and others. Their earnest consultation and the distant 
firing made us feel that a momentous period in the struggle 
was now at hand. We were marched up and took position op- 
posite the hills beyond the stream, and were for a while under 
a spirited cannonade. Adjutant Turner's horse was killed, 
falling on him, but not inflicting injury enough to keep him 
out of the battle of the next day. Several other casualties 
were also sustained by the regiment 

We slept that night on our arms. Early the next morning 
while Captain I. J. Young was getting his company in line 
for the work before us, one of his men complained that he 

210 North Carolina Troops, 1861 -'65. 

was not well, and wanted to report on the sick list. Captain 
Young was heard to say: "Yes, damn it; I know you are 
sick. But it's only the battle field colic. I'll not excuse 
you." The diagnosis proved correct, the "colic" soon passed 
and the patient, we believe, did his duty faithfully that day. 

Upon the approach of Jackson from the north on their 
right flank, the enemy withdrew from their strong line on 
Beaver Dam Creek, to one scarcely less strong on Powhite 
Creek, another small stream running parallel with Beaver 
Dam and about fou.r or five miles to the east of it. A. P. 
Hill, Longstreet and D. H. Hill followed closely. 

A little to the east of Powhite Creek was fought the battle 
called Gaines' Mill, and less commonly the battle of Cold 
Harbor. But for the fact that it would be confounded with 
the battle fought there on May, 1864, the latter term is more 
accurate, for the enemy were brushed back from the line at 
Powhite Creek on which stands Gaines' Mill with compara- 
tively little fighting. Their stand to the death was made 
behind a great semi-circle of swamps a mile or more to the 
east of Powhite Creek, and much nearer JSTew Cold Plarbor 
than Gaines' Mill. On the morning of the 27^1, D. H. Hill's 
division was thrown forward, well to the left along the road 
running by Bethesda Church, so as to reach Porter's right 
rear. When, after much delay and perplexity, at 2 :30 p. m., 
we came into collision with the enemy near old Cold Harbor 
and three miles northwest of jSTew Cold Harbor, our brigade, 
Garland's, was on the extreme left of the enemy. 

It was nearly sun doAvn when the two brigades of Anderson 
and Garland got permission from D. II. Hill, their division 
commander, to adva,nce to the charge. The assault was deliv- 
ered under conditions not unlike those at Seven Pines nearly 
a month earlier. A swamp densely covered with undergrowth 
had to be passed under fire before the Federals could be 
reached. These consisted of United States regulars under 
Sykes, a hard and persistent fighter. 

But nothing could withstand the impetuosity of our on- 
ward sweep. Alignment was soon lost in the contraction of 
the lines necessary in attacking a shorter front than our ovsoi. 
But the Twenty-third, along with the other regiments, pressed 

Twenty-Third Regiment. 211 

forward, tearing their way through brush and briar and vine. 

After clearing these bewildering obstructions we emerged 
into a thin piece of woods with no undergrowth. This brought 
us in full view of a battery on our left, which opened upon us, 
as we went forward at the double quick down a little slope. 
The men became excited and began to fire; but Colonel 
Christie sent his Adjutant, the writer of this, to stop the fir- 
ing till they got closer. So down we swept and then up the 
hill to the enemy's position. Just at this juncture came the 
critical moment of the day, and possibly of the campaign. 
Their line began to waver. Officers and men seemed by one 
accord to grasp the situation. We pressed forward in the 
charge as a part of an Alabama regiment rushed back upon 
our line. Its Colonel shouted that he was going back to reform. 
Captain Young, then in command of the regiment. Colonel 
Christie having just fallen severely wounded, exclaimed: 
"Don't go back to reform. We are all needed to carry this 
line." So the regiment turned and charged with us. 

Up the hill we pressed. The enemy now broke and fied in 
great disorder through a dense swamp in their rear, leaving 
large numbers of knapsacks behind them. We took sixty or 
seventy prisoners. It was now dark. We were hungry, 
worn out and entirely separated from the other regiments of 
the brigade which had gone in and broken the line to the right 
and left of us. 

We bivouaced in a body of pines, too worn out to stand 
guard over prisoners, who seemed as tired and worn out as 
ourselves. The Adjutant counted them and cautioned them 
not to move during the night. Then lying down around 
them, we slept soundly. They seemed well contented and 
showed no disposition to escape while with us. 

There has been much dispute as to what troops first broke 
the enemy's line at Cold Harbor, and thus began the long 
chain of McClellan's reverses. But l^orthern writers state 
that the right wing gave way first. This is where D. H. 
Hill's assault was delivered. General Hill himself says that 
Garland's charge made the first break in the hostile line. 
General Lee officially paid high compliment to the division 
for its part in this battle. 

212 North Carolina Troops, 1861-65. 

Our regiment was not actually engaged at Savage Station, 
Eraser's Farm, or any of the subsequent battles, till Malvern 
Hill, fought on Wednesday, 1 July. McClellan beaten and 
harried on every hand, saw that escape would be difficult, 
probably impossible, unless Lee's pursuit could be checked. 
For this purpose on Tuesday night, 30 June, and early the 
next morning, he hurried to Malvern Hill his shattered com- 
mands. If the hand of Omnipotence, molding plastic nature 
at will, had contrived a fastness in which a beaten and dis- 
pirited army might take refuge and grow strong in a sense 
of security, it need do no more than fashion another Malvern 
Hill. Here with the James river to his back, and his fleet of 
gunboats on his left flank, he felt that he might meet even 
Lee's dauntless, though shattered divisions. Here, frowning 
tier^ above frowning tier, in implacements made by nature's 
own hand, his 300 pieces of splendid artillery were concen- 
trated. Hither his still formidable army, now as at the be- 
ginning, far outnumbering the Confederates, was drawn back 
and skilfully massed in time to strengthen, with partial en- 
trenchments, the points that were least strong. A clearing 
of 500 to 900 yards between the Federal position and the 
woods and Swamp in their front, gave a full view of their as- 

Against this inland Gibraltar, the Southern troops were 
hurled. A simultaneous attack along the whole line would 
have been desperate. Attacks at intervals, at the different 
points by different commands without concert of action, were 
hopeless. Yet such, by an unfortunate concatenation of 
errors, was the mode of attack. Late on that sultry summer 
afternoon our division (D. H. Hill's) struggled through an 
almost impassable swamp and opened the battle with the first 
direct assault. Our brigade (Garland's) was in the first 
line, and advanced through the broadest part of the belt of 
cleared ground, which had been broken by the plow on the 
side next to the enemy. Though only Whiting's small divis- 
ion was to the left of us, our attack was directed against the 
Federal centre. Here we fought Couch's men which we had 
routed at Seven Pines and when here, as there, hard pressed,. 
Kearney came to their aid. 

Twenty-Thikd Regiment. 213 

But the task now assigned us was beyond the power of 
mortal men. From the first step in the open, the fire of that 
huge volcanic amphitheatre and of the gun boats on the river 
was focused on us, much as the ribs of a fan meet at the han- 
dle. Yet onward we swept; the line, when shattered and 
hurled back in places, reforming and pushing with grim de- 
tertoiination, doggedly forward, breaking in part the first 
line of the enemy. No field ever more fully tested the fibre 
of Anglo-Saxon manhood, and on no field has it ever acquitted 
itself better. ISTot till they had striven, unaided for more 
than an hour against McClellan's whole army and 2,000 had 
fallen, did they yield to the inevitable and were swept back- 
ward by the moving wall of lead and iron. 

As at Seven Pines, we will let foeman pay tribute to their 
matchless ardor. A French officer, the Oomte de Paris, who 
was on McClellan's staff, saw it all and said the following : 

"Hill advanced alone against the Federal position. * * 
He had therefore before him Morell's right. Couch's division, 
reinforced by Caldwell's Brigade * * and fronting the 
left of Kearney. As soon as they (Hill's troops) passed be- 
yond the edge of the forest, they were received by a fire from 
all the batteries at once, some posted on the hills, others 
ranged midway close to the Federal infantry. The latter 
joined its musketry fire to the cannonade when Hill's first 
line had come within range, and threw it back in disorder on 
its reserves. 

While it was reforming, new battalions marched up to the 
assault in their turn. The remembrance of Cold Harbor 
doubles the energies of Hill's soldiers. They try to pierce 
the line, sometimes at one point, sometimes at another, charg- 
ing Kearney's left first and Couch's right * * and af- 
terAvards throwing themselves upon the left of Couch's divis- 
ion. But here also after nearly reaching the Federal posi- 
tion, they are repulsed. The conflict is carried on with great 
fierceness on both sides, and for a moment it seems that the 
Confederates are at last to penetrate the very centre of their 
adversaries and of the formidable artillery which was now 
dealing destruction in their ranks. But Sumner, who com- 
mands on the right, detaches Sickles' and Meagher's brigades 

214 NoKTH Carolina Tkoops, 1861-'65. 

to Couch's assistance. During this time, Whiting on the 
left and Huger on the right, suffer Hill's soldiers to become 
exhausted without supporting them. * * At 7 o'clock, 
Hill reorganized the debris of his troops in the woods * * 
his tenacity and the courage of his soldiers had only had the 
effect of causing him to sustain heavy loss." 

Not till far in the night did the terrific volcano of Malvern 
Hill become extinct. Fearful had been its execution not only 
on the fighting line, but numbers of the supports far back in 
the woods to the rear had been struck down. It was one of 
the few battles in history in which the casualties from artil- 
lery fire were as large, probably larger, than those from small 

Battered and shattered, but undismayed, the Twenty-third 
slept that night upon its arms ready for the eventualities of 
the morrow. But the stir and rumble within the hostile line 
had been significant. Jackson's drowsy response, when 
awakened from the slumbers which from sheer exhaustion 
had mastered him, and asked what must be done should Mc- 
Clellan attack tomorrow. "He won't be there," had been 
indeed prophetic words. The morrow broke over Malvern Hill 
tenanted only by Federal dead and wounded, all of which the 
enemy had left in their flight. It broke over the "Little Na- 
poleon" — ^very little he then appeared at Washington, if not 
to himself — safe under shelter of his gunboats at Harrison's 
Landing, clamoring for 50,000 fresh troops. McC51ellan had 
lost 15,849 men in killed, wounded and captured, besides 52 
pieces of artillery, 27,000 stands of small arms and millions 
of dollars worth of stores. But the Confederates being every- 
where the assailants, sustained a still heavier loss, their casu- 
alties reaching the enormous aggregate of 19,749. 

It is impossible to give with accuracy our regiment's loss 
during the Seven Days fighting. Moore's Roster, often inac- 
curate and incomplete, is here unusually so. According to 
statement of Captain A. T. Cole, Company D, who esti- 
mates the casualties of the regiment in proportion to those 
known to have been sustained by his own company, the 
Twenty-third began the Seven Days fighting with about 175 
men. It sustained the heaviest loss at Malvern Hill. Here 

Twenty-Third Regiment. 215 

about 30 were killed and 75 wounded. These figures, while 
only approximate, are believed to be near the mark. These 
losses left the command a mere skeleton, till strengthened by 
recruits and the return of wounded men who had recovered. 
Colonel D. H. Christie and Adjutant V. E. Turner were 
wounded at Cold Harbor. Captain I. J. Young, who com- 
manded the Twenty-third at Malvern Hill was, in that bat- 
tle, wounded in the face, and Private C. C. Courtney, Com- 
pany A, killed in taking him from the field. Here also Cap- 
tain A. T. Cole, Company D, and Lieutenant Munday, Com- 
pany K, were wounded, and Lieutenant Wm. F. Gill, of 
Granville County, killed. The list, though incomplete, 
covers so far as can now be ascertained, the casualties of the 
commissioned officers. 


Wm. p. Gill was born in Franklin County, JST. C, October 
1842. While yet a lad fresh from college, he enlisted as a 
private in the Granville Eifles, afterwards Company G, was 
appointed Sergeant Major and at the reorganization, elected 
Second Lieutenant in the company. His diities as Sergeant 
Major had brought him in frequent contact with the officers 
of his regiment, and most of the men. His death caused 
genuine sorrow and regret to every member of the command. 
He was handsome in person, and his bearing that of a gentle- 
man. His bravery, manliness, his frank, open face alight 
with the quenchless enthusiasm of a youth, won and held the 
love and respect of all. For though gentle and polite, he was 
firm in the discharge of his duties. His abilities were so gen- 
erally recognized that his promotion must have been rapid 
had he been spared to his country and the army. He said 
the morning of Malvern Hill, that he would not survive the 
battle. So strong was this premonition that when Captain 
I. J. Young was borne to the rear, wounded, he asked the 
Captain to take charge of a watch which had just been en- 
trusted to him (Lieutenant Gill) by a dying Federal, for 
transmission to his mother. And I will add that after the 
war Captain Young found the mother and delivered the 
watch. Lieutenant Gill, now in command of the regiment, 

216 North Carolina Troops, 1861-'65. 

was instantly killed, being almost cut asunder by a shell, after 
the attack was over. He was then only nineteen. With his 
fall perished one of the noblest spirits of the command. 

It was at Malvern Hill that private Charles P. Powell, of 
Company D, emulated the fearless deed of Luria at Seawell's 
Point. While lying in line under heavy artillery fire, wait- 
ing for the order to charge, a shell dropped among us. The 
men could not leave their places in the line of battle, so they 
flattened to earth while their unwelcome visitor sputtered 
away. An instant later the heroic Powell sprung forward, 
lifted the shell and deliberately sousing the head in one of 
the small water pools of the swamp, put out the fuse. The 
fuse must by some error have been cut a trifle long, or after so 
much delay it must have exploded in his hands before it 
reached the water. This gallant fellow was wounded a little 
later in this battle and also at Gettysburg, promoted Adju- 
tant and was killed in the "Bloody Angle" 12 May, 1864 — an 
immortal record, surely. The wounding of Captain Young 
left Second Lieutenant Gill in command of the regiment till 
he was killed. After his fall the Twenty-third seems to have 
had no commissioned officer left on the field. 

After the battle we spent several weeks of grateful and 
well needed rest near Richmond. When Jackson, followed 
later by the bulk of the army, marched against Pope at Man- 
assas, our division was, with McLaws' left behind to observe 
the enemy and guard Richmond. In fact, D. H. Hill's divis- 
ion oftener than any other, was detached on independent ser- 
vice of that kind. 

When McClellan's army was withdrawn to reinforce Pope 
and safeguard the Federal Capital, we were thrown forward 
by forced marches northward. We rejoined the Confederate 
army at Chantilly 2 September, three days after the 
battle of Second Manassas was over. The eaTth was yet 
encumbered with unburied dead. The most gruesome of our 
whole war experience were the many swollen corpses crushed 
and mangled by the cannon wheels, which in the urgency of 
that fierce and prolonged combat had passed over them. Ar- 
tillery must manoeuvre somewhere ; the dead lay thick nearly 

Twenty-Third Regiment. 217 

everywhere, and men had been too engrossed wielding the 
sickle of death to gather in the harvest. 


At Chantilly we were within a few miles of the scene of 
our picket duty the previous Fall, Winter and Spring. But 
our pause there was of the briefest. Our brigade formed 
Lee's vanguard in the invasion of Maryland. Moving rap- 
idly northward Friday, 5 September, we waded the Poto- 
mac near Leesburg, at Poland's Ford, lower down, we be- 
lieve, than the Southern army crossed it before or after in its 
many passages. With what bounding hearts did we climb 
the opposite banks of the Potomac, looking eagerly for the 
support of "Maryland, My Maryland." Cherishing hopes 
which, alas, like so many other Confederate Hopes, withered 
on the stem. 

Strong indeed must have been the Southern proclivities of 
Maryland men to see aught of attraction in a service like ours. 
We were a hungry, jaded, weather-beaten, battle-worn set. 
In the forced marches to the northward wagon trains had 
been outstripped, green corn and apples forming for days al- 
most our only food. The fields of "roasting ears," most of 
them now too hard to be really edible, were bought from the 
farmers and the men turned in to help themselves. One of 
General Hill's first acts after crossing the Potomac into 
Maryland, was to buy a large field of com and turn in his 
division. All supplies obtained during this campaign were 
paid for in Federal currency. 

A cartoon in Harper's Weekly represented a Maryland 
Quaker woman placing a wash stand at her door and implor- 
ing the rebels that if they must possess her house, please to use 
that first; while the rebels mistaking this — to them — strange 
apparatus for some infernal machine contrived for their de- 
struction, skedaddled forthwith. But the lion, though un- 
kempt and half starved, was a lion still, as the foe discov- 
ered when he threw his 90,000 against our ranks thinned by 
battle, disease and the giving out of foot-sore men, to less 
than 30,000. 

218 North Carolina Troops, 1861-'65. 

From the 6tli to the 10th of September, we remained in 
camp near Frederick, Maryland. Here rest, full rations and 
delightful weather recuperated us fast. It was while in 
camp at this place that the famous "Lost Order" was dropped 
by some one at the headquarters of our division commander, 
General D. H. Hill. General HiU subsequently established 
the fact that he never saw this duplicate order. The sol- 
dier who lost it was never guilty of a more culpable act, 
nor one fraught with more moment. This order, which was 
picked up on the 13th by a Federal soldier, wrapped around 
some Confederate cigars, and at once transmitted to McClel- 
Ian, revealed not only the dangerous secret that Lee's army 
was divided, but told in minute detail the present position 
and future movements of infantry, artillery, cavalry and 
trains. In the hands of an able and active foe — one alive to 
the tremendous advantage thus given him and quick and res- 
olute in availing himself of it — this paper must in all proba- 
bility, have been the death warrant of the Southern Confed- 
eracy. For by a strange fatality it revealed the faults of 
Sotithern strategy at its faultiest moment, and told where 
and when to meet and overcome the Confederate commands 
when their strength was at the lowest ebb. 

Fortunately McClellan had few of the qualities of a Jack- 
son, a Forest or even a Hood. He acted upon the informa- 
tion thus obtained, but not with the promptitude and energy 
that Fate demands when at long intervals she places such op- 
portunity in mortal hands. McClellan's report of the find 
to Lincoln was not only characteristic, but a fine tribute to the 
valor of his weakened, scattered and now betrayed antago- 
nists. "I have all the plans of the rebels," he wires, "and 
will catch them in their own trap, if my men are equal to the 
emergency." Lee's strokes had been so hard and his strat- 
egy, based upon the prowess of his army, so bold, that Mc- 
Clellan informed Halleck that he had "120,000 men to fight." 

McClellan thus apprized of the situation, moved forward 
on the morning of 13 September, to take advantage of it. 

One column vmder Franklin was thrown forward south- 
westerly towards Crampton Gap of South Mountain. Its 
objective was to crush Jackson's force, then hammering the 

Twenty-Third Regiment. 219 

Federal garrison at Harper's Ferry. The bulk of the Fed- 
eral army was moved westerly against us through Turner's 
and Fox's Gap, its object being Hagerstown, which the "Lost 
Order" had disclosed as Lee's point of rendezvous. 

We had withdrawn from Frederick 10 September, moving 
slowly through Turner's Gap of South Mountain to- 
wards Boonsboro, on the direct road to Hagerstown. Our 
division was the rear guard of the army and was encumbered - 
with all the wagon and artillery trains. 


By the afternoon 13 September, we had marched to 
the west of Boonsboro, and gone into camp near Funks- 
town. From here we were hurried back east to South Moun- 
tain; meeting General Stuart coming down as we marched 
up. That night we spent on the western slope of the ridge ; a 
chilly bivouac without blankets or any manner of covering 
from the keen mountain air. 

Early in the morning of Sunday, 14 September, General 
D. H. Hill came in person and posted Colquitt's brigade in 
Turner's Gap and our brigade (Garland's) in Fox's Gap, a 
mile to the south of Turner's. These two Gaps, which are 
virtually one, are traversed by many roads. If McClellan's 
advance was to be checked till Jackson could take Harper's 
Ferry and join Lee, all these roads must be held by this hand- 
ful of men against McClellan to the last extremity. This 
necessitated the scattering of the regiments of the brigade 
and resulted almost in the destruction of some of them, but 
the pass was held and the precious time necessary for Lee 
to concentrate, gained. 

Garland's brigade of five regiments numbered less than 
1,000 men. Our regiment had been severely cut to pieces 
at Seven Pines and Malvern Hill, and not yet having been re- 
cruited by conscripts to the same extent as some of the others, 
was much smaller in proportion than the brigade. Our posi- 
tion was in the centre of the brigade and along the crest of 
the ridge behind an old stone fence, so common in that region. 

220 North Carolina Troops, 1861-'65. 

The fence had been more or less dismantled by time and was 
in places very low. 

To our right was the Fifth and then the Twelfth ; to our 
left the Thirteenth and then the Twentieth. An interval of 
fully 250 yards separated the Thirteenth from the Twenty- 
third, and one probably as great severed it from the Twen- 

Against Garland's 1,000 Cox led 3,000 of Eeno's Corps. 
The action begun at 9 a. m. From oiir elevated position we 
had a full view of the movement in our front. Below us 
in plain view, went forward through the woods the skirmish 
line of the brigade. Near them and slowly drawing nearer 
and nearer, came a dark-blue line. Yet they apparently did 
not see each other. Not till the lines seemed within a few 
yards of each other was the calm, radiant Sabbath morning 
broken by the crack of rifles. The battle was on. 

Our skirmish line was soon forced backward by weight of 
numbers. General Garland seeing this, ordered Colonel Mc- 
Kae to take his regiment, the Fifth, and the Twelfth regiment 
and support the skirmish line. This he attempted to do, 
but the main line of the enemy coming up at this juncture, 
forced our skirmish line back in disorder and developed so 
much strength that McRae not being able to prevent the ad- 
vance, fell back to his position on our right. 

The Federals now pressed forward, striking first the Thir- 
teenth and Twentieth on our left. Here General Garland 
fell. But as General Hill says, the main attack was against 
the Twenty-third behind the stone wall (tumbled down stone 
fence). A little later, but while still fiercely contending on 
the left, assault after assault was made against our front. 
These we beat off, inflicting heavy loss on the assailants. At 
length Colonel Christie seeing that a still stronger force which 
was advancing against him could, while engaging his front, 
envelop his left, sent his Adjutant, V. E. Turner (the writer 
of this) to apprize General Garland of the situation. Finding 
that Garland had fallen, the Adjutant, making his way to- 
wards the rear of the Thirteenth and Twentieth, delivered 
the message to Colonel McEae, then in command of the bri- 
gade. Colonel McEae having no horse or Staff (General 

j'-M ^>^^.;iXW/(^^5^%c)]r?^^e@^^^9^*^^5A3 


1. Geo. Burns Bullock, Captain, Co. I. 5. William H. Harris, Private, Co. I. 

2. N. A. Gregory, 1st Lieut.. Co. I. 6. John T, Santord, Private, Co. I. 

S. Richard V. Minor, 1st Lieut., Co. E. 7. Nicholas T. Green, Private, Co. E. 
4. W. P. Gill, 2d Lieut., Co. Q. 8. John H. Breedlove, Private, Co. G. 

9. James E. Hart, Sergeant, Co. I. 

Twenty-Third Regiment. 221 

Garland's Staff having gone off with his body) had no means 
of immediate communication with General HiU, and was 
unable to fill the gap and to avert the disaster apprehended 
by Colonel Christie. 

The returning Adjutant after almost running into the hos- 
tile lines, reached the position of the Twenty-third just as it 
was abandoned. Colonel Christie, with his short, weak line, 
hopelessly enveloped and enfiladed, and seeing capture sure if 
he remained longer, had ordered the regiment to withdraw. 
This withdrawal, as it had to be precipitate in the extreme, 
was effected in great disorder down the steep and bewilder- 
ing mountain side. Company E and a few other men on the 
left, the side on which the flank attack came, either did not 
hear the order to withdraw, or being already enveloped, were 
mostly captured. It was here and by this gallant Company 
that bayonets and clubbed muskets were so freely used in the 
vain struggle to repel outnumbering foes. The regiment 
had been too roughly handled to be taken into action again 
that day. 

The whole brigade was likewise driven back, though the 
Thirteenth on the left, managed by a change of front, to 
maintain itself till reinforced by Anderson's brigade. The 
exact loss of the Twenty-third cannot now be ascertained, but 
it was heavy in killed and wounded and of the 200 prisoners 
captured from the brigade it lost its share. It also inflicted 
heavy loss upon the enetmy before the stone fence, its post of 
vantage, was enfiladed and rendered useless. General Jesse 
L. Reno, commanding the corps assailing us, and who had 
been prominent in the capture of Roanoke Island, Kinston, 
and other places in ISTorth Carolina, was killed at long range 
by Charles W. Bennett, of Granville County, Orderly Ser- 
geant of Company E. Sergeant Bennett was severely 
wounded at Sharpsburg. Among our wounded was also Cap- 
tain G. T. Baskerville, of Company I. General Garland was 
killed early in the action. In making his way to the firing 
line, he passed through an open space to the rear of the gap, 
between the Twenty-third and the Thirteenth. He had been 
told that the Federal sharpshooters commanded this space, 
but could not believe that they had yet advanced far enough 

222 North Carolina Troops, 1861-65. 

to reach the crest and dominate the place. Venturing through 
the opening, he at once became their target and was shot 

The arrival of reinforcements late in the day enabled Hill, 
by desperate fighting, to hold Tox's and Turner's Gap till 
dark, as Crampton Gap, to the south, had been held. Under 
cover of night all three gaps were evacuated and the Conf ed- 
ate forces concentrated on Sharpsburg, whither Jackson hast- 
ened on the fall of Harper's Ferry. 


When the enemy at last succeeded in getting in on our left 
flank and cutting us off from the other regiments of the bri- 
gade. Dr. Jourdan was so near the firing line that he was not 
recognized as a "non-combatant," and was deliberately shot 
down. He was a native of Eoxboro, Caswell County, N. C. ; 
was most highly esteemed as a gentleman and an efiicient of- 
ficer, always kindly and considerate of the sick and wounded. 

On the march, when the ambulance was filled with the 
sick, he often gave up his horse to disabled men and marched 
on foot himself. The whole regiment were greatly devoted 
to him. 


Jackson captured Harper's Ferry 15 September, and 
by forced marches joined Lee, with most of his forces, at 
Sharpsburg on the 16th. McClellan advanced and threw 
part of his command over the Antietam Creek that night. 
The battle, joined at daylight of the 17th. And in that 
bloody Wednesday was crowded more desperate fighting and 
more carnage than theJSTew World had ever seen in one day. 
Ketreating along' the Boonsboro road, we reached the field 
early on the morning of the 15th, with the enemy close behind 
us as we crossed the bridge over Antietam Creek. We at 
once took position along the ridge and in an open field. 

The Twenty-third regiment was here able to muster but few 
men, many being barefoot and absolutely unable to keep up in 
the forced marches over rough and stony roads. The brigade 

Twenty-Third Regiment. 223 

■which since Garland's fall, had been under the command of 
Colonel McRae, of the Fifth, went into action with Colquitt's 
brigade in the Confederate center, and were advancing in 
perfect steadiness under a heavy artillery fire from the oppo- 
site hills, till the unaccountable "run back" occurred. This 
happened as follows: The Federals advanced against us in 
dense lines through a corn field, which concealed the 
uniforms, though their flags and mounted ofiicers could 
be seen plainly above the corn tassels. As the blue 
line became more distinct, approaching the edge of 
the corn field, which brought it in our range, we 
commenced to fire and effectively held it in check. 
But some of Early's men, who had come from the corn field, 
begged iis not to fire, saying that their men were in our front. 
Some one in a regitaent tO' the right of us also shouted: 
"Cease firing. You are shooting your own men." Hands 
were also seen waving the line back. This confused the men. 
The artillery fire grew constantly hotter. Several of the 
regiments, nearly exterminated at Williamsburg, Seven Pines 
and Malvern Hill, had been recruited with raw men, largely 
ignorant of discipline and of the machine-like duties of a sol- 

At this the regiments on our right began to fall back, strag- 
gling through the woods in our rear. But we could plainly 
see that we were not firing on our friends, and in our front the 
enemy was firmly held in check, till we found that they were 
moving on our flank unopposed. This compelled us to re- 
tire, which was done in good order, considering the circum- 
stances. The greater part of our regiment stopped in a 
sunken road (the famous Bloody Lane) and joining the main 
line there, fought the remainder of the day. General Hill 
says distinctly that the Twenty-third was kept intact and 
moved to the sunken road. 

The brigade was gotten together that night and early the 
next morning. The 18th was spent in line of battle 
ready for the attack which did not come. Lieutenant-Colonel 
R. D. Johnston was now in command of the Twenty-third, 
Colonel Christie having been placed in command of Gen- 
eral Anderson's brigade. 

224 North Carolina Troops, 1861-65. 

There is a great gap in the Southern part of the War Rec- 
ords covering the first Maryland campaign. The Confeder- 
ate reports were either lost or destroyed in that fortnight of 
strenuous marching and fighting. The casualties of the reg- 
iment at Sharpsburg, as at South Mountain, will never be ac- 
curately known. Captain Wall's estimate of about 45 
wounded and 20 killed is believed to be right. Captain A. T. 
Cole, Company D, and Captain Wesley Hedspeth, Company 
E, are the only two ofiicers given in Moore's Roster as having 
been wounded, though there were almost certain twice or 
three times that many. Few soldiers in any war have ever 
been killed under the same circumstances as W. C. Watkins, 
of Company A. This man had been discharged as not physi- 
cally able to serve. But wishing to take part in one more bat- 
tle, he remained and fought at Sharpsburg, and fell and was 
found dead with the discharge in his pocket. 


McClellan's desperate and repeated attempts to pierce and 
shatter the 'Confederate lines, had been substantially foiled. 
But Sharpsburg proved to us but a pyrrhic victory at best. 
Lee with less than 30,000, could not afford victories bought at 
the expense of 10,000 men, even if it inflicted a loss of 15,000 
on the enemy. Holding his lines undisturbed through the 
18th, he withdrew that night across the Potomac, near Shep- 
herdstown. Just as the last of our own army crossed the 
enemy appeared and a brush occurred, but they did not press 
us closely till the next day, when we turned and drove them 
back with fearful loss. 

After returning to Virginia, our command lay encamped 
till late in October along the Opequon, not far from its battle 
ground of 19 September, 1864. The region was one of great 
thrift and plenty. The long rest was exceedingly grateful to 
our weary and foot-sore men. During this campaign an in- 
trepid deed was performed near Bunker Hill by Frank Bow- 
ers, of Company A. He was then driving an ammunition 
wagon drawn by six mules. The jolting over the rough road 
exploded one of the shells in his wagon and others rapidly 
followed. Few men would have hesitated at instant flight. 

Twenty-Third Regiment. 225 

ISTo man could have been expected to do otherwise. But Bow- 
ers was one of that heroic mold which never abandons a trust 
or a duty. With marvellous presence of mind and courage, 
he sprang to the ground, unhitched the team, and escaped 
with them all unhurt from the verge of the volcano of bursting 
shells. Yet history vouchsafes this gallant fellow but the 
stint of two words, one of them abbreviated to a single letter, 
"k, Gettysburg." (Killed at Gettysburg.) 

Here the army was recruited and reorganized. The Twen- 
ty-third received its share of recruits. What was more im- 
portant, it was strengthened by the return of many of its mem- 
bers who had recovered from wounds and diseases. Colonel 
Alfred Iverson, of the Twentieth JSTorth Carolina, was, after 
Sharpsburg, commissioned Brigadier-General and assumed 
command of the brigade. The Thirteenth Regiment was 
about this time transferred to Scales' Brigade, leaving bri- 
gaded with us the Fifth, Twelfth and Twentieth 

In November came the march southeast to Fredericksburg. 
The following incident — a trifling flotsam of memory — oc- 
curring in this month, will illustrate the humorous side of a 
soldier's life. One of the Staff officers of the regiment, for 
slightly overstaying a leave to visit some ladies was, as was 
the usage, placed under arrest by Colonel Christie. ISTow an 
officer under arrest must march in the rear of the regiment, 
and cannot address his superior officer except in writing. This 
incompetency to address the Colonel would have been without 
complications except for the fact tliat the weather was cold 
and the above officer and the Colonel were bed-fellows and 
slept on a very narrow bunk. J^ow not even a Confederate 
soldier was willing that all the freezing that fell to his lot 
should be endured by one half of his body. So an occasional 
turning of the frozen side in was a sine qua non. But a lux- 
ury of this kind could be safely obtained only by co-opera- 
tion — there must be a simultaneous action of both occupants 
of the bunk or dire consequence might follow. For co-opera- 
tion communication is essential. Written communication in 
the dark was impossible. Finally after long consultation 
with two other officers in the same tent — the Colonel remain- 

226 North Caeolina Troops, 1861-65. 

ing a silent, but doubtless highly amused auditor — it was de- 
cided that an officer under arrest might in extremity, address 
his superior by proxy. Thi-s was forthwith done, a change 
of base effected and Confederate comfort assured. 


The Twenty-third took no active part in repelling the 
Federal army — now under Burnside — at Fredericksburg. 

We were held in reserve near Hamilton's Crossing behind 
Early on the right. Here, though exposed to the artillery fire 
from Stafford Heights, only one man was killed and a few 
hit. But Sunday morning, 14 December, our division was 
carried around and placed in the front line on the extreme 
right. During the day we affiliated for a while with the 
Federal officers in our front, truce being granted by Lee to 
Burnside to bury his dead. 

That evening preparations were made for a night attack. 
A white band on the arm was to be the distinguishing badge 
of our troops in the night assault. These were provided and, 
we believe, in a few instances, actually put on. JSTo attack 
was ordered, the crushing blow that we had so easily dealt the 
enemy not being yet realized by our commanders. 

On Monday night, 15 December, a picket line from our 
regiment was thrown well to the front. Captain H. G. Tur- 
ner, of Company H, in command of the pickets, seems to 
have been the first man in the afmy to discover signs of the 
Federal retreat across the Rappahannock. The night was 
boisterous, a strong northwesterly wind had, as is so often 
the case, followed the snow fall of some days ago. This wind 
muifled any sounds in the enemy's lines, which were to the 
east of us. But Captain Turner observed a scarcely precepti- 
ble, though incessant fiickering of the lights on the distant 
hills across the river. This he could account for only on the 
theory that long columns of troops were there moving under 
cover of night. This movement he at once construed to be a 
retreat. What he had seen and the inferences he drew there- 
from, were at once reported to his superiors. Nothing came 
of his report. Soon after Fredericksburg, General Eodes 

Twenty-Third Regiment. 227 

was placed in command of our division, General Hill being 
assigned to another position. 

The battle over, we went into winter quarters near Freder- 
icksburg, out towards Guinea Station. Here, in January or 
February, 1863, we took part in a great snow battle. The long 
roll was beaten and the brigade ignorant of what it was to do, 
fell into line, officers at their posts as if for real battle. Or- 
ders were given and we marched rapidly out towards Dole's 
Georgia brigade, which we were to attack. The Georgians 
had thrown up breastworks of snow, prepared a supply of 
snow balls and were ready for us. It was a grateful relief 
from the tedium of camp life and the men entered with zest 
into the sport. After preparing as much ammunition as we 
could conveniently carry, our line m.oved forward to the as- 
sault. The battle, though brief, was sharp, many of us were 
knocked down and several quite seriously hurt, but the snow 
fort was stormed, our opponents routed and chased back 
through their camp. Many prisoners Were taken. The horse 
play was ended by rolling in the snow a supercilious general 
officer participating in the fun. The irate General sought a 
court-martial, but was told that an officer waived his rank 
when he took part in frolics of that kind. 

The enemy was still in full force across the river opposite 
us. This kept Lee's army constantly on the qui vive. Our 
regiment did a great deal of shivering picket duty on the 
Rappahannock below Fredericksburg. The winter was one 
of great rigor. The men, though pretty well hardened, suf- 
fered severely from want of proper clothing and food and 
from exposure. Some time in January or February the 
command was marched to Mine Run, and though they did 
only a little desultory fighting, they suffered much hardship 
from cold, being held in line in the snow for several days and 
nights. The enemy being in sight, no fires could be allowed 
and our suffering was intense. 


If the consensus of the intelligent opinion of the world 
was taken as to what battle gave most lustre to Southern 
generalship, it would almost surely designate Chancellors- 

228 North Carolina Troops, 1861-65. 

ville. Lee holding strong positions along the Rappahannock 
and higher up upon its tributary, the Eapidan, had deemed 
it expedient to detach Longstreet to spend part of the winter 
near Suilolk, Va., gathering supplies from that region and 
from Eastern North Carolina. Thus less than 55,000 men 
were left to confront Hooker, who had superceded Burnside 
as commander of the Federal army. 

Hooker took advanage of this separation of the Confeder- 
ate forces by strategic stroke that may, in its inception, be 
called brilliant. Making a feint against Lee's front at Fred- 
ericksburg and his right below that place, he suddenly 29 
and 30 April, 1863, threw 120,000 men across the Rapidan 
on the Confederate left flank. Had Hooker possessed the har- 
dihood and moral courage of Grant and have advanced from 
the Wilderness into the open country where his vastly supe- 
rior force could have told, things must have gone hard with 
Lee. But as has been well said, while Hooker hesitated, Lee 
acted. Jackson, with 22,000 men, by a rapid march whose 
very boldness bewildered the enemy, swept from Hooker's 
left flank across his front and fell upon the unsuspecting right 
flank like a bolt from the skies. 

The Twenty-third took a highly important part in this bril- 
liant movement. It led the van in Jackson's immortal 
march. Friday evening and Saturday morning, 2 May, 
its skirmish line was in contact with the enemy not far from 
the Chancellor House. At daybreak, it was so hastily with- 
drawn that two of its companies, then on the skirmish line, 
were left behind and did not rejoin the regiment till late in 
the evening. 

Our regiment on being withdrawn from contact with the 
Federals, went swiftly forward through the Wilderness, 
striking now and then a dim path or road. Strict silence 
was enforced, the men being allowed to speak only in whis- 
pers. Occasionally a courier would spxir his tired horse past 
us as we twisted through the brush. For hours at the time 
we neither saw or heard anything. Great was the curiosity 
to know where we were going and what "Old Jack" was 
about. But we agreed tliat he did know and that the novel 
march meant much. Our brigade led tlie division, our regi- 

Twenty-Third Regiment. 229 

ment the brigade. While swinging onward a turn in the 
dim road brought us suddenly face to face with a piece of 
Federal artillery, which firing point blank, double-shotted 
with canister, struck down the head of the column, discon- 
certing for a moment many of the bravest. Major C. C. 
Blacknall, with rare presence of mind, instantly rallied a 
company and springing forward with the bayonets, captured 
the piece before it could be reloaded. 

During the afternoon we reached the position assigned to 
us. The Twenty-third was the very last regiment on the left 
wing of the army. Tired, breathless, but bouyant, we lay 
down in the woods near the unwary foe and waited till or- 
dered to attack. As the afternoon passed we were swung 
around still farther to the left and to the rear of the right 
flank of the Federal Eleventh Corps. The attack was begun 
back to our right. As the sun was round and red and low, 
the regiment moved directly towards it on the foe. At the 
first sight of the Federals, we were ordered to yell our loudest 
and to move forward up the hill at the double quick. We 
struck their very rear, charging in over their beef slaughter- 
ing and cooking detail. The enemy began jumping up before 
us and holding up their hands to surrender. But little re- 
sistance was met with, the surprised enemy surrendering or 
breaking before us in the wildest rout and disorder. Chas- 
ing them like hares, our boys surged forward. Prisoners, 
pieces of artillery, a regimental flag and countless stands of 
small arms were taken by the Twenty-third. Albutress 
Gabriel, a private in Company K, captured a brigade com- 
mander. The frenzied flight of the foe is well illustrated by 
a cannon which was seen hanging up a tree. In the panic 
it' had been driven over a small tree which bent under its 
weight, but finally broke it loose from the caisson in front. 
Then the upspring of the tree raised the entangled gun from 
the ground. There it hung as eloquent an attest of mad 
flight as perchance war has ever seen. We soon emerged into 
a large field occupied by a large part of Hooker's army. 
Their line of battle was snugly intrenched, but the works 
faced the wrong way. We came up obliquely behind their 
works. Their line, in hurriedly trying to face about and 

230 North Carolina Troops, 1861-'65. 

meet us, was soon tangled and scattered pell-mell all over tlie 
big field. Over this field rushed helter-skelter cannon, 
wagons, loose horses, dogs, men, everything. A spectacled 
Adjutant was here shot dead with a congratulatory order in 
his hand, telling that Lee was surrounded and would be cap- 
tured the next day. It was well into the night before our onset 
spent itself and we must have been then not very far from the 
point from which we set out in the early morning. Then 
were heard all through the woods the Yankee officers 
calling out and offering to surrender. We heard distinctly 
without knowing its fateful meaning, the sudden outburst of 
musketry which struck down the right arm "of Lee and of the 
Confederacy — Stonewall Jackson. 

Our loss that night was small, as it had been with us rather 
a chase than a fight. Our turn to fight came the next morn- 

On Saturday night both Lee and Hooker made different 
dispositions for the stem Sabbath work to come. Major 
Eowe, of the Twelfth, having been wounded the evening be- 
fore, Lieutenant-Colonel R. D. Johnston, of the Twenty- 
third, commanded the Twelfth in this battle. Iverson's 
brigade went into action on the left of the Confederate line 
and to the left of the plank road. Having been in the first 
line the day before, it was now placed in the second line as 
a support. Our brigade reached the first line as it was falling 
back from its assault on the third line of Federal intrench- 
ments. General Eodes says of this attack: "The enemy 
was compelled to fall back and pressing on Colonel Hall's two 
regiments (Fifth and Twenty-sixth Alabama) together with 
the Twenty-third Worth Carolina, Colonel Christie, carried 
the heights in magnificent style, planting their flags inside the 

The rest of Eodes', Iverson's and Pender's troops were re- 
pulsed. This exposed the three above regiments, and an 
overwhelming flanking attack by the Federal Generals, 
French and later Humphreys, being made, they were forced 
to retire with heavy loss in killed, wounded and prisoners. But 
the troops which had been repulsed soon rallied and on being 

Twenty-Third Eegiment. 231 

reinforced, drove back the attacking forces and the general 
Confederate advance followed. 

Major N. A. Gregory (then Lieutenant Company I) gives 
a graphic account of several incidents in the battle. He says 
substantially as follows: "They (Pender's men) had cap- 
tured two lines of works from the enemy and were standing 
behind the second line when we came up. They told us that 
they were out of ammunition and could go no further. Gen- 
eral Pender went forward with iis. After crossing a little 
branch and fighting for some time in a hot place, Pender told 
us to charge. We rushed ahead. My company was on the 
right. I bore to the right of the road and got into a little 
fort, which stood in the open field near the road. Here I 
seized a rifle from a man who went into the fort with me and 
blamed away at the colors of the Federal artillery company 
that was then moving off the field. Just then this man called 
my attention to the shots coming in on our left. As we two 
were alone, we got out of there. I suppose that we went 
closer to the Chancellor Plouse than any other command that 
day. These shots were from French's flanking force about 
to strike the Confederate left." 

The loss of the Twenty-third at Chancellorsville, which is 
said to have been 50 per cent, larger than any other regiment 
in the brigade, was ofiicially reported by General Kodes at 
173 killed, wounded and missing. Moore's Eoster gives the 
casualties as follows: Wounded 48, killed 17, mortally 
wounded 6. Captain Wesley Hedspeth, Company B, was 
killed. Lieutenant James S. Knight, Company B, was mor- 
tally wounded, dying that night. Lieutenant Washington F. 
Overton, Company G, was wounded and burned with many of 
our dead, and probably some other wounded, in the fire that 
raged that morning in the woods to the left of the plank road 
und east of the -little aldertangled branch. Captain A. T. 
Cole was wounded and captured while being carried to the 
rear. Major C. C. Blacknall and Lieutenant George B. Bul- 
lock were, with the men they led forward, surroimded and 
captured in a redoubt of the work which they had just car- 
ried. These two ofiicers after being fellow prisoners in the 

232 North Carolina Troops, 1861-'65. 

Old Capitol Prison at Washington with Miss Belle Boyd, 
the famous Confederate spy, were exchanged in two weeks 
and took part in the Gettysburg campaign. 


In no period of the war was the Southern heart more buoy- 
ant or did hope gleam brighter or larger than when it was 
known that Lee's victorious army had invaded the ISTorth. 
All things now seemed possible. But at no period of the 
struggle was hope really more fallacious and deceptive. 
Southern Independence had already been lost. Chancellors- 
ville was its grave. With Gettysburg won and Vicksburg 
lost, Southern Independence could not have been attained. 
But Chancellorsville won — decisively and overwhelmingly 
won — Lee could easily have detached a force to relieve Vicks- 
burg. ■ Chancellorsville must have been a decisive and over- 
whelming victory but for the fatal blunder of one man — a 
man brave and otherwise competent. At 5 :30 p. m. Satur- 
aay evening, 2 May, 1863, Jackson held the fate of Hooker's 
army in the hollow of his hand. His subordinates had but 
to move forward when and where he had distinctly ordered, 
and within an hour a blow would have been struck the enemy, 
which, followed up with a tithe of Jackson's energy, could 
have ended only in Hooker's undoing. This unfortunate of- 
ficer was General Colquitt, commanding a Georgia brigade, 
to whom had been assigned an exceedingly important posi- 
tion on Jackson's right. The duty assigned this wing was to 
strike the routed Eleventh Corps on the flank and rear and 
not only destroy or capture it, but what was even more im- 
portant, assail the other commands then open to attack. But 
this duty was never performed. Colquitt saw some horsemen 
in Federal uniform on his right front. The apprehension 
of an attack on this flank — an impossible thing — sud- 
denly overcame him. He halted his regiments and changed 
front and also forced Ramsevir's brigade to do likewise. 
Having the right of way over the "Stonewall" brigade and 
four regiments of Stuart's cavalry his halt halted them. This 
change of front and the purposeless marching it entailed, 
kept inactive seventeen regiments of excellent troops for an 

Twenty-Third Regiment. 233 

hour — an hour as big with fate as battle field ever saw. 
For in that hour the torrent of Federal rout passed by to a 
place of safety, flooker, or his subordinates, made new dis- 
positions and brought up their powerful artillery. When at 
length the seventeen regiments came up and the Confederates 
moved forward the golden opportunity had passed ; rout and 
disorder had with the foe given place to order and determi- 
nation. Jackson, realizing the exigency of the new turn in 
the battle, went forward to inform himself and fell. 

But to return to the Gettysburg campaign. Leaving the 
vicinity of Fredericksburg 4 June, 1863, we marched, via 
Culpepper Court House and Front Royal, to Berryville, Va. 
Here the army captured the camp equipage of 1,500 men 
who fled without a battle. Thence to Winchester, where 
3,000 of Milroy's men were taken and marched past ouv com- 
mand. At Martinsburg we cut the Baltimore and Ohio Rail- 
road and pressing forward, waded the Potomac at Williams- 
port on Monday, 15 June. Passing through Chambers- 
burg we reached Carlisle, the northern limit of our invasion, 
about 2Y June. The Twenty-third acted as provost guard 
at several places on this march. At Carlisle we rested for 
several days in the Federal barracks. Here many of our 
jaded, weary boys, drank too much United States Government 
whiskey and a battle with a Georgia regiment, for the time 
likewise drowning their weariness, was narrowly averted. 
Many of the Carlisle people knew General Iverson, he having 
been quartered in the barracks there when a Lieutenant in 
the Federal army. 

As Lee threw our corps (Ewell's) north to Carlisle, threat- 
ening Harrisburg, the capital of Pennsylvania, he concen- 
trated his other two corps, A. P. Hill's and Longstreet's, at 
Chambersburg on his line of communications. Stuart having 
taken his cavalry on his famous, but fatal, raid around the 
Federal army, Lee was long in complete ignorance of the ene- 
mies whereabouts. 

Orders had already been given for the march on Harris- 
burg, when on the night of the 29th Lee, then at Chambers- 
burg, learned from a scout that the enemy were on his right 

234 North Carolina Troops, 1861-'65. 

flank, the head of their column being then near Frederick, 
our resting place of the fall before. 

Our corps was at once put in rapid motion southward. The 
intelligence received had changed Lee's whole plan. His 
plan now was to concentrate at Oashtown with the mountains 
at his back and beyond them the rich Cumberland Valley, 
for a granary. Here Meade, who had now superceded Hook- 
er, would have had to attack us with everything in our favor. 
A. P. Hill, contrary to orders, precipitated battle at Gettys- 
burg with the enemy on the defensive and everything in their 
favor. However, it is but fair to General Hill to add, that 
owing to the absence of cavalry, he had no means of knowing 
that the forces unexpectedly interposed between him and Get- 
tysburg, whither part of his command was marching to pro- 
cure a supply of shoes, were other than militia or at most a 
small detachment of Meade's army. 

Leaving Carlisle on Tuesday, the last day of June, we 
marched swiftly southward. Cherries were ripe along the 
rock-walled lanes. Bringing camp hatchets out, fruit ladened 
limbs were severed and we regaled ourselves as we swung 
onward. The spirit and morale of the army were then superb. 
Many German-descended members of our regiment belong- 
ing to the companies raised in Lincoln, Catawba, Gaston and 
Montgomery Counties, were in this region amid, or not far 
from, their kin. From here their ancestors had emigrated 
to North Carolina about one h\mdred years before. But I 
doubt if many of them thought of it at that time. Little did 
the families at the separation imagine that the descendants 
of the emigrants should in a generation or two return as in- 
vaders to the old home. To this day (1900) there are Ger- 
man families around Gettysburg which recognize their dis- 
tant kinship to and occasionally visit their people who came to 
this State about 1750. 

But to return to the subject in hand. Sounds of strenuous 
battle reached us early on the morning of Wednesday, 1 July, 
as we pressed forward towards Gettysburg, the obscure 
Dutch town so soon to be made famous. Our brigade (Tver- 
son's) led Ewell's corps and was the first to become engaged 
as he hurried forward to succor A. P. Hill, tlien hard 

Twenty-Third Regiment. 235 

pressed. At Willoughby Run our Field Officers dis- 
mounted. Approaching from the north by the Heidelburg 
road till within about a mile of the field of battle, we were 
filed off by the right flank to the Mummersburg road. As 
we emerged from the woods and moved down the slope to the 
latter road twenty pieces of artillery opened on us with grape, 
from the left, inflicting some loss. 

The Mummersburg road here runs east and west. Very 
close to the road on the south side stands the Forney house. 
This house stands in the northwest corner of the Forney field, 
which extends about half a mile from the house along the 
Mummersburg road, and is about a quarter of a mile broad. 
Across this road near the Forney house the brigade was form- 
ed facing east. Along the path or eastern side of the field and 
on a ridge ran a stone fence, which formed part of the enemy's 
line. Behind this fence, alone, lay hidden from view, more 
men than our assaulting column contained. A body of woods 
extended from the southeastern corner of the field for about 
two hundred yards along its southern side. 

The brigade, about 1,450 strong, advanced under artillery 
fire through the open grass field in gallant style, as evenly as 
if on parade. But our brigade commander (Iverson) after or- 
dering us foTAvard, did not follow us in that advance, and our 
alignment soon became false. There seems to have been utter 
ignorance of the force crouching behind the stone wall. For 
our brigade to have assailed such a stronghold thus held, 
would have been a desperate undertaking. To advance 
southeast against the enemy, visible in the woods at that cor- 
ner of the field, exposing our left flank to an enfilading fire 
from the stronghold was fatal. Yet this is just what we did. 
And unwarned, unled as a brigade, went forward Iverson's 
deserted band to its doom. Deep and long must the desolate 
homes and orphan children of North Carolina rue the rash- 
ness of that hour. 

When we were in point blank range the dense line of the 
enemy rose from its protected lair and poured into us a with- 
ering fire from the front and both flanks. For Battle's bri- 
gade, ordered to protect our left flank, had been thrown into 
confusion by the twenty pieces of artillery and repulsed by 

236 North Carolina Troops, 1861-'65. 

tlie right wing of the Federal line just as we came up. This 
effected, the enemy moving under cover of the ridge and 
woods, disposed his forces to enfilade our right from the woods 
just as our left was enfiladed from the stone fence. 

Pressing forward with heavy loss under deadly fire our 
regiment, which was the second frojn the right, reached a 
hollow or low place, running irregularly north, east and south- 
west through the field. We were then about eighty yards 
from the stone fence to the left and somewhat further from 
the woods to the right, from both of which, as well as from 
the more distant corner of the field in our front, poured down 
upon us a pitiless rifle fire. 

Unable to advance, unwilling to retreat, the brigade lay 
down in this hollow or depression in the field and fought as 
best it could. Terrible was the loss sustained, our regiment 
losing the heaviest of all in killed, as from its position in 
line the cross enfilading fire seems to have been the hottest just 
where it lay. Major C. C. Blacknall was shot through the 
mouth and neck before the advance was checked. Lieuten- 
ant-Colonel R. D. Johnson was desperately, and Colonel D. 
H. Christie mortally wounded, as the line lay in the bloody 
hollow. There, too, fell every commissioned officer save one ; 
the recorded death-roll footing up 54 killed and 82 wounded. 
The real loss was far greater, almost surely 50 per cent, 
greater. Captain Gr. T. Baskerville, Company I; Lieutenant 
C. W. Champion, Company Gr, and Adjutant Junius B. 
French, were killed. Captain A. D. Peace, Company E, 
and Lieutenant Wm. M. Mundy were wounded. Captain H. 
<jr. Turner, Company H, was wounded and captured. Cap- 
tain Wm. H. Johnston, Company K, was captured. 

The carnage was great along our whole line which, except 
the Twelfth Regiment on the right, was at the mercy of the 
enemy. The Twelfth, under Colonel Davis, protected some- 
what by the lay of the field and being further from the stone 
wall, refused both wings and fighting to right, left and 
front, gallantly beat off its assailants till help came. 

Kamseiir was now hastening to otir relief. The wary foe 
aware of this, swarmed over the wall and rushed down upon 
our weakened line. Leaving the wounded they drove off 

Twenty-Third Regiment. 237 

with bayonets and clubbed muskets 49 prisoners and carried 
our flag with thefm. The One Hundred and First New York 
regiment has marked with a stone the point reached in this 
charge. It stands about where the Twenty-third lay. This 
rush was all over in a moment, for Ramseur was coming up. 
This gallant officer, had he continued to advance as he started, 
straight against the stone fence, must have met with disaster 
just as we did. It is said that Lieutenant Crowder, of Com- 
pany A, and Lieutenant Dugger, of another regiment, ran 
back and advised him to file oj0f to the left and strike the 
Federal right. At any rate he effected this movement with 
brilliant and decisive success. The enemy saw it and ap- 
prehending its meaning, strove to change front to meet him. 
They were too late. Ramseur caught them in the act, and his 
rifles silent till then, enfiladed their line along the stone fence 
with terrible and crushing effect. This fire also killed Rial 
Stewart, and perhaps others of our regiment, who had just 
been captured and were being taken to the Federal rear. 

Ramseur's onset began the enemy's reverses which ended 
in their being driven back through the town of Gettysburg 
with the loss of 5,000 prisoners, besides many killed and 
wounded. What was left of our regiment and brigade went 
forward in the attack and pursuit. Fire was opened on us 
from the houses as we rushed into the place, but we shouted 
that we would burn the town unless it stopped. The firing 

General Rodes said that Iverson's men fought and died 
like heroes. When the brigade went from its position in the 
hollow its dead and wounded lay in distinctly marked line 
of battle from one end to the other. The imperfect returns 
show 512 killed and wounded. The most careful estimate 
makes it over 750. A member of the Twenty-third lying 
stone dead, his musket clinched in his hand and five bullets 
through his head attests the close and deadly fire under which 
they lay. Thirty-five years after the battle the writer found 
in the clay of the pits from which Iverson's dead had been re- 
moved to Richmond, flattened bullets which had evidently 
fallen from the disinterred skeletons. The field was even then 
a veritable mine of war relics — bullets, grape shot and pieces 

238 North Carolina Troops, 1861 -'65. 

of shrapnel. Lieutenant George B. Bullock, Company I, said 
that it was the only battle — and he was in all in which his 
command was engaged from Williamsburg to Appomattox — 
where the blood ran like a branch. And that too, on the hot, 

The handful left of our regiment were not taken into ac- 
tion on the second or third day at Gettysburg. While being 
conveyed, wounded, on the retreat through South Mountain 
Sunday night. Colonel Christie, Lieutenant-Colonel Johnston 
and Major Blacknall were captured by Kilpatrick's cavalry 
near Monterey Springs. Christie and Johnston were rescued 
by the Confederate cavalry and carried to Williamsport. 
Blacknall escaped on Kilpatrick's own horse, but being too 
badly wounded for rapid flight, was recaptured. 

Colonel Christie died at Winchester, Va., and in his native 
county, soon after the army reached that place. His wife, 
whom he so longed to see, and who had hastened to him, ar- 
rived a few hours after he was buried. 


Daniel Harvey Christie was born in Frederick County, 
Virginia, 28 March, 1833, and was educated at a military 
school. He became a citizen of Henderson, N. C, in 1857. 
The breaking out of the war found him in charge of the Hen- 
derson Military Institute which he had established. His gallant 
conduct and wounds at Seven Pines and Cold Harbor have al- 
ready been mentioned. 

Although the latter wound was very severe, within sixty 
days he returned to his command and devoted himself dili- 
gently to the work of recruiting and disciplining his regi- 
ment. At South Mountain his management of his regiment 
was such as to elicit from General Garland words of the 
highest praise for himself and his regiment, a few minutes 
before Garland fell. After Sharpsburg he commanded An- 
derson's brigade till Colonel Bryan Grimes reported for duty. 
At Gettysburg, his last battle, Christie's conduct was espe- 
cially gallant. Here he held his men in position under a 
most terrific fire for an hour till the whole regiment was 

Twenty-Third Regiment. 239 

killed, wounded or captured, except a Lieutenant and sixteen 
men. He was in the act of leading a charge against the 
stone fence when he fell, with his men and officers thick 
around him. Colonel Christie was buried at Winchester, 
another Colonel of the Twenty-third being laid by his side a 
year later. 


George Thomas Baskerville was born in Mecklenburg 
County, Virginia, 16 October, 1827. He graduated with high 
honors at the University of North Carolina at the age of 17, 
being the valedictorian of his class — delivering his address in 
Latin. About 1849, he became a citizen of Granville 

Captain Baskerville was without military ambition. But, 
impelled by a strong sense of duty, he joined the army and 
was elected Captain of Company I, Twenty-third North Car- 
olina, in 1862. Refusing promotion he remained with his 
company, serving with courage and ability. Falling, wounded 
to death, at Gettysburg, he died the next day. His devoted 
wife crushed at the tidings of his death, took to her bed and 
never rose again. Captain Baskerville was of the highest 
type of Southern gentlemen. He was a devout Christian, a 
good neighbor and a devoted husband. His domestic life 
was a most beautiful one. Plighting their troth when chil- 
dren, marrying very early in life, their devotion to each other 
was complete. And when the sturdy oak was stricken down, 
the clinging vine fell with it. 

The virtual destruction of Iverson's brigade at Gettysburg 
was largely, if not wholly, owing to the fact that it had no bri- 
gade commander on the field to govern its movements, as a 
whole, in accordance with the exigencies of the battle and to 
halt it before it entered, unsuspecting, the deathtrap laid for 
it. Iverson's part in the heroic struggle of his brigade seems 
to have begun and ended with the order to move forward and 
"Give them hell." The brigade refusing to serve under him 
longer, he was transferred to the cavalry and Lieutenant-Col- 
onel R. D. Johnston was commissioned brigadier and assumed 
command on 8 September, 1863. General lyerson's conduct 

240 North Carolina Troops, 1861-65. 

at Chancellorsville had also been severely criticised. Where 
he was when Pender led forward his (Iverson's) brigade, has 
never been explained. The Confederate newspapers of that 
period spoke of strained relations between Lee and Davis be- 
cause Davis refused to let Lee court-martial the "delinquent 
brigadiers" for their action, or rather non-action, at Gettys- 
burg. However, the fact of any coldness between them was 


On the retreat we crossed the Potomac at Falling Waters 
near Williamsport, 10 July. After operating in the 
valley for a short while, our corps moved towards Madison 
Court House. Here we rested till Lee's move 9 October 
to strike Meade's flank, who was then at Culpepper Court 
House. On that march the Twenty-third, Fifth and part of 
the Twelfth, all under command of Lieutenant-Colonel Davis, 
of the Twelfth, crossed the Eapidan at Raccoon Ford. This 
detachment was highly commended for a gallant charge on a 
battery and its support. The regiment sustained loss both at 
Vidiersville and near Brandy Station during the same move- 

We went into winter quarters near Orange Co^irt House. 
But, in February, or March, our brigade was detached to 
guard bridges over the JSTorth and South Anna rivers, near 
Hanover Court House. Here we were recruited, equipped, 
and put in good trim. 

In barracks at Taylorsville, near Hanover, with no enemy 
near, the command had the only really good time during the 
war. The only thing like work was the attempt to overtake 
the raiding force imder Dahlgren. Neat uniforms and even 
pleated-bosom shirts, long unknown, were here to be seen, and 
some of the boys bent on luxury in the extreme — thorough- 
going sybarites— actually boarded out. Eating regularly 
three times a day, keeping dry and sleeping warm of nights 
seem.ed a preposterous thing to a Confederate soldier. We 
even went into politics. 11 March, 1864, the brigade held a 
convention at Taylorsville, endorsing Vance as against Hol- 
den and his treasonable influences. But there never was a 

Twenty-Third Regiment. 241 

dream so bright, or paradise so sweet that some one did not 
come to spoil it. Grant spoiled ours. 

Beginning at midnight of 3 May, 1864, Grant, now Com- 
mander-in-Chief of the Federal armies, suddenly threw 
nearly 120,000 men under Meade, across the Eapidan. 
Grant's plan was to flank Lee out of his entrenched position 
on Mine Run and fight him somewhere between the river and 
Eiichmond if he would > stand. That Lee did stand is at- 
tested by the fall during this movement of more Federals than 
Lee had men. Our brigade left Taylorsville at 11 a. m., 
4 May and by the (Quickest forced march on record 
covered sixty-six miles in twenty-three hours. Ar'my mules 
fell dead in their traces under the severe strain, but without 
stopping for bivouac, or hardly for rest, we held out and 
reached the plank road near the Wilderness Tavern, on 
the 5th. 

Dead tired as we were, we were ordered forward about sun- 
set, with J. B. Gordon's brigade. The movement was under 
Gordon's command and was directed against the Federal 
right. Driving the enemy back a mile or more with slight 
loss to ourselves, we halted on the turnpike and slept as even 
tired soldiers hardly ever slept before. During the night of 
7 May, Grant began his flanking movement around Lee's 
right. Lee swung Anderson's division aroimd and headed 
him off at Spottsylvania Court House. It was while on the 
march to Spottsylvania that Johnston's brigade was, much 
to their regret, transferred from Rodes' division to Early's, 
Early being assigned temporarily to the command of Hill's 
corps, Gordon commanded the division. 

On the 9th, at Spottsylvania, our brigade, with 300 or 
400 men, made a reconnoissance on the Confederate right 
and drove back a division of Burnside's corps, but seeing 
himself nearly enveloped by the enemy in overwhelming 
force, Johnston withdrew his brigade in time to escape cap- 
ture. The Twenty-third lost .20 to 30 men in this move. 
Sergeant Thomas Powell was wounded, captured and died a 
few days later in Washington. Lieutenant-Colonel Davis, of 
the Twelfth, was now in conimand of the Twenty-third. 

242 North Carolina Troops, 1861-'65. 

About this time the brigade now but a handful, fought and 
ran off a heavy cavalry force endeavoring to hold the high and 
open ground around the old court house . at Spottsylvania. 
The cavalry vs^as a splendid body and fought desperately, but 
no incident of the war was more relished by the boys than 
trouncing and chasing that prim set of blue-coated horsemen. 

We took no part in the battle of 10 May till nearly sun- 
set. The enemy had broken over the works by Dole's bri- 
gade and were advancing direct against General Lee's head- 
quarters. While other troops assaulted his flanks, our bri- 
gade took the most important part in repelling this assault of 
the enemy. The men refused to go forward till General Lee, 
then on the field, went to the rear. The following account 
of the battle is from notes of Captain A. T. Cole, ,made not 
long after the war : "About sunset the enemy broke through 
our line at an angle in the works and were advancing rapidly 
towards General Lee's headquarters then in sight, and directly 
before them. Our brigade was doubled-quicked by the right 
flank in column from behind a pine thicket where it had been 
resting and concealed. Emerging suddenly in their front, 
then going by the left flank in line of battle, we met and 
drove the enemy back across the breastworks and regained sev- 
eral pieces of artillery which were still in position. Some of 
the Confederate gunners who, concealed in the cannon pits, 
had escaped capture, now sprung out and used the guns very 
effectively on the retreating Federals. Just as the brigade 
faced by the left flank and advanced towards the enemy, T 
saw facing the head of the column General Lee on horseback, 
hat in hand, cheering on the men, within not more than 100 
yards of the enemy. The flghting lasted till probably 9 
o'clock that night. Killed and wounded in our regiment 
numbered 20 to 25." 

In making the charge Major Brooks, of the Twentieth 
JSTorth Carolina, and Captain Jos. F. Johnston, Aid-de-Camp 
to General E,. D. Johnston, were competitors in a race for a 
Federal flag which had been planted on the captured Confed- 
erate works now held by three lines of battle. Brooks reached 
out his hand just in front of Johnston and seized the flag, 
carried it back to the rear and presented it to General Lee 

Twenty-Thtrd Regiment. 243 

with the request that it be sent back to North Carolina as one 
of the trophies of the brigade. It was sent to this State with 
a letter from General Lee very complimentary to North Caro- 
lina troops. 

After repulsing the attack of the 10th, the brigade was 
again withdrawn, occupying its place on reserve till the 12th. 
Daybreak 12 May, a foggy, dismal dawn as May ever 
saw, found us at the Harris House half a mile to the rear of 
the apex of Lee's salient, thence forward to be known as the 
"Bloody Angle." The Confederate line of fortification swept 
around Spottsylvania Court House in an irregular semi-circle 
seven miles long. A mile due north of the Court House a 
spur in the hills made it necessary, in order to prevent the en- 
emy from occupying a commanding position, to construct a 
great angle or salient in the works. This salient, not unlike 
a huge horse shoe in shape, was about three-fourths of a mile 
long and half a mile broad at its base. This position, with 
artilleiy, was strong ; but without, it was weak. Lee believ- 
ing that Grant had resumed his movement by the left flank, 
had ordered the withdrawal of all artillery on this part of the 
line not easy of access. On the night of the 11th General Ed. 
Johnson, who with his division of 2,000 men, held the toe of 
the horse shoe, apprehending an attack from the movements 
in his front, asked that the artillery be returned. The guns 
were just going back into position when at daylight Grant 
threw a solid imass of 20,000 men against Johnston's 2,000, 
taking the guns before they could open fire. The victorious 
enemy then pressed onwards to seize the whole salient and 
pierce Lee's centre. Our weak brigade in bivouac at the 
Harris House, half a mile to the rear, were the only troops 
immediately available to stem the onset. General Gordon at 
the sudden outbreak of battle, threw us forward. Going for- 
ward at the double quick in the woods below the McCool 
House and far down in the salient, we ran upon the Federals 
coming forward in three dense lines of battle. Our numbers 
were so few and the enemy so strong, the intervening distance 
so short, that twice Federal Line Officers came within ten 
steps of us and demanded the surrender of the brigade. Our 
reply in both instances was a volley that struck down the ven- 

244 North Carolina Troops, 1861-65. 

turesome officer and for a moment staggered the oncoming 

But what availed a few hundred against 20,000. The bri- 
gade after one of the bloodiest combats of the war and with 
heavy loss, was forced backward fighting desperately as it 
went. Other troops soon came up, striking the invaders on 
both flanks. The brigade reformed and renewed the battle. 
General K. D. Johnston seized the flag of the Twenty-third 
and ordered a charge. The brigade rushed forward carrying 
the position in their front, Johnston falling wounded as he 
planted the flag on their works. The struggle continued with 
the utmost fury till night. On the 14th Lee withdrew to a 
line of works constructed across the base of the salient. Our 
regiment, though small, contained many a gallant spirit and 
many heroic deeds were done on that dark and dismal mom. 
E. S. (Scip.) Hart, the flag bearer of the Twenty-third, was 
especially brave ; again and again rushing forward with the 
colors, which were never for a moment lowered except when 
Scip was felled by a clubbed musket in the hands of a stal- 
wart Yankee. Among the captured on that terrible day 
was Captain A. D. Cole, Company A. It was Captain Cole's 
fate, along with Lieutenants Coggin and Bullock, to form 
three of the six hundred officers which the Federals placed un- 
der the Confederate fire at Charleston for several weeks in 
1864, and to endure the horrible tortures inflicted on them by 
starvation at Port Royal a little later. The minute stint of 
spoiled meal — a gill a day — and pickle on which they sub- 
sisted for forty days ended by killing Lieutenant Coggin 
and bringing Captain Cole to death's door and keeping him 
there for agonizing months and even years. This too, crown- 
ing three years of gallant service in the field. To few, if any, 
of all the sons of the South was it given to endure more and 
suffer more in her defense than did this gallant officer. 


After the Bloody Angle fight our brigade was engaged in 
the battle of the 19th. Colonel C. C. Blacknall, commis- 
sioned Colonel 15 August, 1863, had been exchanged in May, 
and after commanding a brigade at Petersburg for several 
weeks, joined his regiment about 1 June and assumed com- 

Twenty-Third Regiment. 245 

mand. Leaving camp near Cold Harbor at 3 a. m. 18 June 
1864, we went with the corps now commanded by Early, 
on the Valley campaign. Marching to the railroad at Char- 
lottesville we took cars for Lynchburg, on which Hunter was 
rapidly advancing. We arrived just in the nick of time to 
save the town. Passing at double quick through the streets, 
within twenty minutes after leaving the cars we were skir- 
mishing with Hunter's advance guard. 

Lieutenant Crowder, the same officer whose suggestion to 
General Ramseur at Gettysburg proved of so much value, and 
a brave and efficient officer, was severely wounded that night 
whole posting the picket lines. 

Skirmishing at Liberty and driving Hunter across to Salem 
and westward into the mountains. Early wheeled suddenly up 
the valley. 

There was a little loitering to see what Hunter would do, 
during which the army making a detour crossed the Natural 
bridge and rested there a few hours, which detour to see the 
bridge was put to a vote of the men and earned by a 
small majority. Leg-weariness is a great stifler to curiosity. 
However, pretty soon the race up the valley begun. Staun- 
ton was reached 27 June. Pressing rapidly forward we 
reached Harper's Ferry on 4 July. Our advance had been 
so rapid and unexpected that we here surprised and broke up 
a Fourth of July celebration, our advance guard eating with 
appetites whetted by hard marching, the feast not intended 
for us. As the enemy held the heights beyond the river and 
commanded the approaches to Harper's Ferry with artillery, 
only the skirmish line went into the toA'S'n, except a few ven- 
turesome officers who galloped do^\m that night, fired on in 
every moonlit stretch by the Federal guns. Crossing the 
Potomac a few miles above, our forces for a few days made 
feints here and there to confuse the enemy as to our designs. 

But, finally, we dashed off for Washington. On 9 July 
we met Lew Wallace at Monocacy Junction, near Frederick, 
Maryland, who gave battle to bar our way to the Federal 
Capital. Resisting our advance through the town, Wallace 
made a determined stand at Monocacy river. 

Wliile Gordon's Division crossed the river and strviek 

246 North Carolina Troops, 1861 -'65. 

the enemy's right flank, Johnston's brigade was ordered to 
capture a block house on the other side of the Baltimore and 
Ohio Eailroad. A considerable force of the enemy were in 
a railroad cut and perfectly protected. The Twenty-third 
under Colonel Blacknall, made a dash for the block house, 
but were met by a hot enfilading fire from the line of battle in 
the railroad cut. A heavy battery across the river also swept 
them with a raking fire. Captain W. C. Wall, Company F, 
was severely wounded. Colonel Blacknall was stunned for the 
moment by an impact of a bullet on the head, which fortu- 
nately did not penetrate, and the regiment was driven back. 

Upon the failure of the Twenty-third to carry the block- 
house. General Johnston ordered Colonel Davis, of the 
Twelfth, to carry it. Colonel Davis says: "General John- 
ston was not in a good humor and I was suffering (sick) so 
that I could hardly walk. However, I went forward to the 
ravine (not knowing of the cause of the falling back of the 
Twenty-third) and here halted and had picked men as videttes 
to reconnoitre and see all they could. Finding about the 
line of battle on the railroad, I sent General Johnston a mes- 
sage that if I advanced I would expose by men to an en- 
filade fire and that if he would dislodge the line of battle in 
the railroad cut, I could take the house without loss of men. 
I never heard from General Johnston. In the -meantime the 
fight was going on on the other side (of the river) between 
Wallace, of Ben Hur fame, and Gordon. Three lines of bat- 
tle engaged Gordon's one, and now General Wallace begins 
to retreat. His men on our side then had to pass over quickly 
or be taken. I moved forward, and as we struck the bridge 
on one side the enemy were clearing it on the other." This 
rapid retreat of the enemy was also expedited by a company 
that passed under a culvert and opening a flank fire on the 
cut, drove the enemy out. 

Wallace was defeated, with the loss of 700 prisoners — our 
casualties being about the same — and thrown back upon Bal- 
timore. The way thus opened we advanced a forced Sun- 
day march on Washington. Hot, jaded and footsore, we 
arrived in sight of that city and only three miles distant at 
3 p. m. on Monday, 11 July. The day was one of overpower- 

Twenty-Third Regiment. 247 

ing heat. The troops were too completely exhausted 
with hard marching to have been ejBfective in imme- 
diate attack. A reconnoissance was made Tuesday, but 
the works were too strongly manned for our 10,000 
men to carry. In the reconnoissance Melville Holmes, 
a lad belonging to Company G, of our regiment, is said to 
have fallen nearer to the works of the Federal Capital than 
any other Confederate soldier of the war. This is also said 
to have been the only instance in the history of the country 
in which a President of the United States appeared on a field 
of battle. Mr. Lincoln came out to the works on Tuesday to 
view the situation and a surgeon was shot very close to his 
side by Confederate sharpshooters. 

Our brigade bivouacked in the grove of the famous Blair 
mansion. Here an 11 -inch shell from fort Massachusetts 
burst in the midst of the officers' mess at noon on the 12th, 
fortunately with no worse result than knocking the food out 
of some of their hands. The unauthorized burning of Gen- 
eral Blair's house, if done by Confederates at all, was the 
work of stragglers. Though there is a . strong probability 
that it was ignited by shells from the fort that made our din- 
ner party its target. 

Early's division had now effected all that could be ex- 
pected in drawing troops from Grant's hosts around Rich- 
mond. Federal troops were now hastening to close the 
passes of South Mountain and the fords of the Potomac in 
his rear. Therefore after maintaining a threatening attitude 
against Washington all day of the 12th, and driving in a 
strong reconnoitering force from the works, he retreated at 
dark without molestation. Passing swiftly through Rock- 
ville and Poolsville, we crossed the Potomac at White Ford, 
near Leesburg, on the morning of the 14th, bringing off all 
prisoners and captures in safety. 

Resting on the 14th and 15th near Leesburg, on the 16th 
we resumed the march through Snicker's Gap to the valley, 
the enemy following. Occasionally we had a skirmish with 
their cavalry. 

248 North Carolina Troops, 1861-'65. 

the valley campaign. 

By this time the Federals were in strong force at Harper's 
Ferry. Moving by Hillsboro in Loudon County, they struck 
our wagon trains on the 16th, inflicting some damage. We 
were engaged in the brush that drove them off. On the 
morning of the iTth, we crossed the Shenandoah at Castle- 
man's Ferry and took position at Berryville, our division 
with that of Kodes, guarding the Harper's Ferry road. 
There was skirmishing with the enemy on the Shenandoah. 
On the night of the 19th our division, Eamseur now in com- 
mand, was moved back towards Winchester to protect the 
town from the now aggressive Federals. On the 20th Ram- 
seur moved upon Stephenson depot, near Winchester, to at- 
tack Averill. The division while moving by the flank, was 
suddenly assailed by a large force of Averill's cavalry ad- 
vancing in line of battle. Thus surprised, the division was 
thrown into disorder. But Colonel Jackson made a gallant 
charge with his cavalry and E,amseur rallying his men, 
Averill was driven off. 

The Richmond Sentinel printed about this time a commu- 
nication very disparaging to the North Carolina troops, and 
especially to Johnston's brigade, exalting Pegram's Virginia 
brigade at their expense. In a word it was claimed that John- 
ston's men ran without firing a gun and that Pegram's re- 
doubtables alone saved them from annihilation. Colonel C. 
C. Blacknall in a letter a few days after the battle, after re- 
ferring to the false and deprecatory account of the affair as 
published in The Sentinel, says: "The truth of the mat- 
ter and which will be attested by every gentleman who was 
present, was as follows : General Ramseur marched the divis- 
ion down the Winchester road and from the reports of the 
officer commanding our cavalry in front, was led to believe 
that the enemy in small force were at a point more distant 
than we found them to be after reaching the body of woods 
where our cavalry were in line of battle. General Ramseur 
formed Hoke's Brigade on the left and Johnston's on the 
right of the road. Pegram being in the rear when we sud- 
denly found the enemy in a field, immediately in our f]-ont, 

Twenty-Third Regiment. 249 

■we advanced and engaged him without hesitation, our men 
advancing under a heavy and destructive fire in splendid 
style. The enemy's line in the meantime overlapping Hoke's 
left and pouring into his flank a heavy enfilade fire which 
caused his left regiment to give way, the panic being commu- 
nicated to the other regiments of the brigade, each one in turn 
falling back hastily and in some confusion. While this was 
going on, Johnston's Brigade was steadily advancing, having 
broken the enemy's line in our front and caused him to fall 
back before our advancing column. The left of our brigade, 
the Twelfth and Twenty-third Regiments, had advanced to 
within sixty yards of the enemy's line of battle, and every 
toan was standing up manfully when our left was suddenly 
uncovered by the falling back of Hoke's brigade, the enemy 
pouring in a large force immediately on our flank. Our lit- 
tle brigade being alone and unsupported were, from the na- 
tiire of the case, compelled to retreat or be captured, as we 
could not resist the immense odds which were hurled 
against us. 

"Pegram's Brigade being in the rear of Hoke's, joined in 
the race and made its escape from the place of danger as fast 
as heels could carry them without even attempting to make 
a stand. After falling back to the railroad, some distance, it 
was thought necessary to make a stand to cover the retreat 
when the Twelfth and Twenty-third ;N"orth Carolina Regi- 
ments, commanded respectively by Lieutenant-Colonel Davis 
and 'myself were the only troops that could be rallied; all 
the rest of the division retreating in much disorder to the 
fortifications. When we marched back to the line where the 
troops had been halted, we found Pegram's Brigade had 
gotten there some time before us, although the world has 
been informed through the papers that they covered our re- 
treat. General Ramseur stated to General Early tliat 'John- 
ston's Brigade whipped everything in its front and was last 
to leave the field,' which is known to be true by every man 
who was engaged in this unfortunate affair. The enemy had 
many killed and wounded in our immediate front, which in- 
dicated very conclusively that we were not stampeded without 

250 North Carolina Troops, 1861-'65. 

firing a gun as these veracious correspondents would make 
the readers believe." 

In Early's victory over Crook at Kernstown, 24 July, 
our division was sent to the left to get around Crook's right 
flank at Bartonsville. Crook here occupied exactly the same 
position that Shields did when Jackson fought him 23 March, 
1862. The result of the battle was that Crook was defeated 
and driven back in great rout. 

Then followed much arduous marching and counter-march- 
ing to meet and check the strong and active force which was 
placed under Sheridan's command early in August. The 
open valley country with its excellent roads gave great facil- 
ity for the advantageous use of cavalry, in which Sheridan 
was overwhelmingly strong. Our boys also did much hard 
work in reaping, threshing and grinding grain for food. This 
labor could often be done only under the protection of our 
guns. The Kichmond Examiner grew facetious over the 
merry harvesting time Early's men were having in the valley. 
Colonel Blacknall, writing under date of 28 August, 1864, 
says : "You have seen, perhaps, some facetious descriptions 
of our doings and not doing in the Richmond Examiner. The 
descriptions are drawn in the Examiner's inimitable style and 
quite laughable withal to one at a distance. Still the 'frugal 
swains' and the 'gentle shepherds' have not had quite so gay 
and festive a time as one might imagine ; we have, it is true, 
been engaged in reaping and thrashing and gathering supplies 
from the teeming abundance in the country; but the piping 
and fiddling and feasting and frolicldng, exist in the editor's 
fertile imagination. The lowing and bleating herd are the 
beef cattle which affords some very tough steak and the mean- 
dering, bubbling streams and gentle flowing' rivulets are often 
very muddy pools from which man and mules all drink indis- 
criminately, neither thinking themselves better than the 
other. If, however, any gentleman is disposed to believe 
that this is a gay thing, all I can say to him is, that we have 
a good opening for any such to come and try it." 


The battle of Winchester found our little army in the val- 

Twenty-Thikd Regiment. 251 

ley divided. General Early has been much criticised for al- 
lowing his force to be attacked in detail — for "fighting by 
divisions," as General Lee termed it. But the broad open 
valley country vrith its many roads along which the strong and 
active Federal cavalry could operate on his communications, 
prevented that concentration which would have made the 
Confederate force a unit. For Early, with 8,000 muskets, 
2,500 cavalry and 1,000 artillery had, as best he could, to 
hold the valley against Sheridan's 35,000 infantry, nearly 
10,000 cavalry and an artillery force nearly or quite as large 
in proportion to his army as Early's was. Round numbers 
are given, as the exact numbers are not known, but they are 
very close. Sheridan's numbers as given by Judge Mont- 
gomery, are considerably below those usually accepted. 

Sunday night, 18 September, 1864, found Ramseur's divis- 
ion out on the Berryville Pike east of Winchester. John- 
ston's Brigade was in advance with the Twenty-third Regi- 
ment, thrown out on picket near the edge of the woods that 
skirt the Opequon. Their position was a little north of the 
pike, but very near to it and a mile or more from the stream. 
As the enemy was known to be in force just over the creek, 
the men were told that they now occupied the exact position 
in which a Georgia Regiment had been captured and were 
ordered to be on the alert. 

The mounted videttes at the ford of the Opequon must 
have been captured or eluded, for at earliest da^vn Sheridan's 
troopers swarmed up out of the ravine around the advance 
pickets of the Twenty-third, so quickly that the pickets barely 
had time to fire before the horsemen were in their midst. A. 
few minutes later an overwhelming force of cavalry, closely 
followed by infantry, charged our weak regiment. Disput- 
ing every inch of ground, making stand after stand, we were 
driven back upon the brigade and that back upon the division. 
In one of these stops Colonel Blacknall received his mortal 
wound and was borne back into Winchester. 

General Bradley T. Johnston gives the following vivid 
picture of that gallant twilight combat: "By daylight, the 
19th of September, a scared cavalryman of my own command 
nearly rode over me as I lay sleeping on the grass and reported 

252 North Carolina Troops, 1861-65. 

that the Yankees were advancing with a heavy force of in- 
fantry, artillery and cavalry, up the Berryville road. John- 
ston and I were responsible for keeping Sheridan out of 
Winchester and protecting the Confederate line of retreat and 
communication up the valley. In two minutes the command 
was mounted and moving at a trot across the open fields to 
the Berryville road and to Johnston's assistance. There was 
not a fence, nor a tree, nor a bush to obscure view. We could 
see the crest of a hill, covered with a cloud of cavalry and in 
front of them — 500 yards in front — ^was a thin grey line 
moving off in retreat, solidly and in perfect coolness and self- 
possession. * * A regiment of cavalry would deploy into 
line and their bugle would sound the "charge" and they'd 
swoop down on the "thin grey line of North Carolina." The 
instant the Yankee bugles sounded, North Carolina (John- 
ston's Brigade) would halt, face by the rear rank, wait until 
the horses got within 100 yards and then fire as deliberately 
and coolly as if firing volleys on brigade drill. The cavalry 
would breali and scamper back and North Carolina would 
"about face" and continue her march in retreat as solemnly 
and with as much dignity as if marching in review. But we 
got there just in time — that is to engage cavalry with cavalry, 
and held Sheridan in check until Johnston had got back to the 
rest of the infantry and formed in line at right angles to the 
Pike east of Winchester." 

Johnston reached his supports, though with loss, and from 
then till 10 o'clock Eamseur's weak division of 1,700 men, 
unaided except by Lomax's and Jackson's cavalry, held the 
foe at bay. Bend this line perforce must, under the onset 
of Sheridan's immense force, but breaJc it did not. At 10 
Kodes' division came up and a little later Gordon's. And 
all through that splendid autumnal day the battle held. His- 
tory calls it the battle of Winchester. Locally it is known as 
the battle of Hackwood from the Hackwood farm on which it 
was fought. 

Before noon the Federals were, by a bold assault, driven 
back in disorder. But it had been at fearftil cost. Bodes 
and many other gallant ofiicers had fallen, and the Confeder- 
ate forces were too worn out by marching and fighting and too 

Twenty-Third Regiment. 253 

weakened by losses to take full advantage of Sheridan's dis- 
comfiture. And a little later a fresh corps were hurled 
against our necessarily long and attenuated line. Thus, as 
morning wore to evening, continued the strife. By strenuous 
and desperate fighting Sheridan's hosts were held at bay in 

But troops thus beset could not be expected to bear un- 
moved an attack in the rear. When late in the day two divis- 
ions of Federal cavalry drove in the weak force guarding the 
Martinsburg road and pressed forward to the outskirts of 
Winchester in the rear of our left, Early's line wavered, 
broke, and the army were driven back. General Early dis- 
tinctly says that our division, Ramseur's, fell back on the 
right in good order, taking position to keep in line with the 
other troops. Indeed those movements must have been ef- 
fected with great steadiness for the division was taken for 
the left wing of the eneany advancing to envelope the Confed- 
erate right on which lay the line of retreat and the report 
came near causing a panic at another part of the line. 

Night approached and the Confederate line crumbled un- 
der repeated assaults in front and flank. General Early in 
his memoirs, says : "ISTothing was now left for us but to re- 
tire through Winchester, and Kamseur's division, which 
maintained its organization, was moved from the east of the 
town to the south side of it, and put in position, forming the 
basis for a new line, while the other troops moved back 
through the town. * * When the new line was formed 
the enemy's advance was checked until nightfall and we re- 
tired to Newton without serious molestation. 

The exact doings of the Twenty-third on that hard 
foughten field have not been recorded. All that is known is 
that it stood firmly, fighting manfully among Ramseur's 
1,700 heroes. 

Lomax had held the enemy's cavalry on the Front Royal 
road in check and a feeble attempt at pursuit was repulsed by 
Ramseur near Kernstown. The army retreated that night to 
Newton. At daylight we moved to Fisher's Hill without mo- 

Colonel Blacknall being too painfully wounded for hasty 

254 North Carolina Troops, 1861-'65. 

removal, was left in Winchester, where his wounds terminated 


Charles Christopher Blacknall was born in Granville 
County, N. C, December 4, 1830. 

His grandfather, Thomas Blacknall, of Virginia, was, at 
16, a soldier under Washington. His grandfather's grand- 
father, the "Eeverend John Blacknall, Gent'n," though later 
of Virginia, was one of the first Episcopal clergymen to of- 
ficiate in JSTorth Carolina. Thence through English country 
gentlemen of record, his lineage runs back to the Blacknalls 
of Wing, Buckinghamshire, whose armorial bearings were 
two centuries old when Columbus sailed to discover the new- 

Charles Blacknall was educated for the law, but never prac- 
ticed. When the war came he promptly raised and 
was elected Captain of the Granville Eifles, which became 
Company G, of the Thirteenth, later the Twenty-third North 
Carolina Regiment. 15 June, 1862, he was commissioned 
Major and 15 August, 1863, Colonel of the regiment. 

His gallantry at Yorktown, Williamsburg, Seven Pines, 
Chancellorsville and Gettysburg, and his severe wounds at 
Seven Pines and Gettysburg and his capture, escape, and re- 
capture after the latter battle, have already been told in the 
body of the sketch. Severe illness contracted while on duty 
in the Chickahominy swamps prostrated him and kept him 
out of the Sharpsburg campaign. Only disabling wounds or 
prison bars kept him from participating in all battles in 
which his command engaged up to his death. 

Few, if any, JSTorth Carolinians had a more romantic or 
eventful military career than the subject of this sketch. Soon 
after his recapture on the retreat from p-ettysburg and while 
imprisoned atFort McHenry, near Baltimore, lotswere drawn 
to select a Confederate ofiicer to be hung in retaliation for a 
Federal officer about to be executed in Richmond as a spy. 
Colonel Blacknall drew the black bean. Though finally 
spared, it was only after a long suspense. 

Then followed a rigorous imprisonment at Johnston's 

Twenty-Third Regiment. 255 

Island, Lake Erie, during the severe winter of 1863-'64. 
Driven to desperation by cold and hunger the eighteen hmi- 
dred Confederate officers there imprisoned, planned an escape 
to Canada. Colonel Blacknall, well known to be ever for- 
ward in the charge, was elected one of the officers to lead the 
forlorn hope in the assault with brick-bats against the guards 
on the wall that encircled the prison. But there was in their 
midst a Federal spy, disguised as a Confederate officer. 
Their plans were betrayed and the guards so heavily rein- 
forced, that men even as desperate as they were, could see 
no hope of success. 

His name standing alphabetically near the head of the list, 
he was paroled in March, 1864, before the cartel was 
stopped. Exchanged early in May, he started for his com- 
mand the day that the Federals cut the Weldon road at Stony 

Apprised of this on reaching Weldon, he returned to Kit- 
trell, his home, and without arousing his family, took horse 
at midnight and hastened to Petersburg. Arriving there, he 
was placed in command of a brigade, but ordered back to his 
regiment before it went with Early's force to the Valley. 

In all the arduous marching and counter marching, and in 
the battles and countless skirmishes of this strenuous cam- 
paign. Colonel Blacknall took an active part till mortally 
wounded early on September 19, 1864. On the evening of 
the 18th, his regiment was placed on outpost duty on the Ber- 
ryville pike, two or three miles east of Winchester. The 
writer of this (V. E. Turner) spent that night with him 
under a simple fly tent. At dawn on the 19th, sharp firing 
on his advanced picket line told that the expected attack had 
begun. At this Colonel Blacknall rode hastily to the front 
to direct his regiment in the encounter. He remained mounts 
ed and held his small force pluckily against the heavy ad- 
vancing columns of the enemy. In the midst of this and 
while being borne back by overwhelming superiority of num- 
bers, but contesting every inch. Colonel Blacknall received a 
severe and acutely painful wound in the ankle, and was car- 
ried back to Winchester. The surgeons disagreed as to the 
necessity of amputating the foot to save his life, and his wish 

266 North Carolina Troops, 1861-65. 

to save it was yielded to. It being deemed risky to carry him 
in the retreat, he was left in Winchester when the army fell 
back at the close of the day. So much interest was felt in his 
behalf that the hospital steward was ordered to remain and 
take care of him. 

That was the last seen of the gallant Colonel by his friends 
of the regiment. The foot was amputated by Federal sur- 
geons, but too late to save his life. Tenderly nursed by the 
devoted women of Winchester, he lingered for six weeks and 
sij^ days, dying JSTovember 6, 1864. By a singular coinci- 
dence death came to him in the house of a Washington (Mrs, 
Byrd Washington) and on the site of Washington's old fort 
(Fort Loudon) built in the French Indian War. 

Colonel Blacknall was buried by the side of Colonel 
Christie, his predecessor in command of the regiment — par 
nohile fratrum. 

Colonel Blacknall was a man of varied gifts. He loved let- 
ters and his reading had been considerable and of the best. 
He was a strong and graceful writer and a ready and eloquent 
speaker. To few of the children of men has been given as 
much personal magnetism. During his three and a half 
years' service as a soldier no one in the regiment was more be- 
loved ; no one behaved more gallantly ; no one endured the 
deprivation and hardships of army life more cheerfully. 

Courage was the common staple of Confederate soldier- 
hood. But Charles Blacknall had a command of faculty and 
an ability to think and act in an emergency possessed by few. 
One who knew him well spoke of him as one of the few thor- 
oughly chivalrotis men that he ever knew; another as the 
ideal Confederate officer. A chapter of Daughters of the 
Confederacy at Kittrell, Vance County (formerly a part of 
G-ranville County) Colonel Blacknall's home, has been named 
for him. 

General Pegram was now placed in command of our divis- 
ion, Ramseur being placed in command of Rodes' division 
after the death of that officer. Captain Frank Bennett, Com- 
pany A, by seniority of rank, assumed command of the 
Twenty-third on the fall of Colonel Blacknall. 

Twenty-Third Regiment. 257 


22 September Sheridan, who had followed us and occu- 
pied our front in force, threw Crook's corps on the left flank 
of our line which, even when stretched to the utmost, was too 
short to occupy the position held. Driving back Lomax's 
weak line of dismounted cavalry. Crook advanced against 
Eamseur's left flank. Desperate efforts were made to throw 
Ramseur's brigades and then our division (Pegram's) into 
line to the left. But this movement in the face of a vastly 
superior enemy, could not be effected without disorder. Crook 
taking advantage of this, advanced, and after a brief contact 
forced the whole army back in confusion, capturing eleven 
of Early's guns. 

The Confederate foot soldier was not noted for his admira- 
tion or his respect for his compatriot who bestrode a horse. 
Early's foot soldiers' love for a cavalryman was even below 
the Confederate average. Sheridan's horse was so much 
stronger in numbers and equipments than ours, and the na- 
ture of the country gave this superiority such opportunity, 
that our cavalry, gallant fellows as they were, had no showing 
and cut a poor figure. But the man who trudged and toted a 
musket, made none of these allowances for his mounted broth- 
ers, who dashed hither and thither with no object apparent to 
prejudiced eyes, except that of keeping as much space as 
possible between themselves and the foe. 

For some cause known only to their whimsical philosophy, 
Imboden's cavalry was an especial object of their disesteem. 
By way of derision they called it "Jimboden's" cavalry. The 
confidence in General Early had met with that impairment 
which is almost sure to be the lot of the unsuccessful leader, 
no matter from what cause. This spirit in the troops mani- 
fested itself at Fisher's Hill in the most droUy humorous in- 
cident of the writer's whole war exprience. Close beside the 
road along which the troops poured in confusion, a ragged, de- 
jected, unkempt "Confed" crouched over a little fire, regard- 
ing naught, absorbed alone in warming numbed fingers and 
toes, for the day was chilly. As he crouched and shivered he 

258 North Carolina Troops, 1861-'65. 

droned a song in whose tone disgust, despair and disdain all 
strove for the mastery. The song, which must have been 
rich, was lost except the following stanzas caught as a group 
of officers rode by : 

"Old Jimboden's gone up the spout. 
And Old Jube Early's about played out." 

"Gone lip the spout" was war lingo for passed into noth- 
ingness, even as water in a kettle does when it evaporates 
and goes up the spout. The singer seems to have believed 
that Imboden's instead of Lorn ax's cavalry was the force that 
proved unable to cope with the enemy on our left flank that 

Halting at Mount Jackson on the 23d to enable the -sick, 
wounded, and hospital stores to be carried off, the retreat was 
resumed to Rude's Hill. Hither the close pursuit and flank- 
ing movements of the enemy forced Early to retire in line of 
battle, a most difficult operation when done under fire and 
exposed to repeated assaults which had to be beaten off. Nine 
miles of the retreat was thus covered, the troops passing 
through the ordeal of repeated attacks with great coolness. 
While thus fighting and falling back with the steadiness of 
Cffisar's cohorts, by a strange coincidence we came to a place 
called "The Tenth Legion." Here at sunset we made a stand 
and checked the pursuit for the night. 

Retreating up the valley, constantly skirmishing with the 
hostile cavalry, we took position at Port Republic, nearly 
one hundred miles south of Winchester, 27 September. 
On the 28th, Early moved twenty miles further south to drive 
off two divisions of Torbet's cavalry who had got in our rear 
and were now destroying the railroad bridge at Waynesboro 
and the tunnel through the Blue Ridge at Rockfish Gap. 
Driving a force of cavalry before us, our division (Pegram's) 
arrived just at night and advancing upon the enemy, drove 
him off in great haste. On October 1st we marched back 
down the valley to Mt. Sidney, the main force of the enemy 
being then at Harrisonburg. 

Early having been reinforced by Rosser's cavalry brigade 
and Kershaw's infantry division from Lee's army, pre- 

Twenty-Third Regiment. 259 

pared to attack the enemy at Harrisonburg. But in the night 
of the 5th Sheridan retreated down the valley. Early fol- 
lowed and took position at New Market with his infantry. 
Rosser's and Lomax's cavalry pressing forward near Fish- 
er's Hill, were encountered by a superior force and driven 
back in confusion, losing eleven pieces of artillery. In fact 
some wag suggested that the guns that Lee was sending Early 
about this time be labeled "General Phil. Sheridan, in care of 
General Jube Early." 


The object of the valley campaign was to keep the largest 
possible Federal force detached from Grant to protect the ap- 
proaches to Washington, the acumen of Lee telling him that 
the nervous Washington officials would see that the protect- 
ing force was a liberal one. Early learning that Sheridan 
was about to send troops back to Grant, moved farther down 
the valley on October 12th. On the 13th we reached Fisher's 
Hill, part of the forces advancing as far as LIupp's Hill. 

Finding Sheridan's position across Cedar Creek too strong 
for a front attack. Early after having it closely scrutinized 
from the signal station at Massanutten Mountain, determined 
to surprise and turn the Federal left flank. We moved out at 
9 o'clock on the night of the 18th in great secrecy. Canteens 
were closely strapped to sides to prevent rattling and only 
whispering allowed. Crossing the turnpike we went around 
the mountain's base by a trail that wotmd around over the 
swift dashing stream. The moon was full and our long line 
of bayonets glittered in its beams. Just at daybreak we 
waded the stream. The shot of a Federal picket rang out. 
We rushed forward with loud yells right into the sleeping 
camp. A little later in the morning our division had a hand- 
to-hand engagement with and drove back a larger part of the 
Sixth corps and aided by Battle's Alabamians, captured six 
pieces of artillery, which were most bravely defended, the ar- 
tillerymen dying at their guns rather than surrender. Our 
division was then moved to the north of Middleton and took 
position across the pike. Here it remained during the day 
skirmishing with the cavalry force in its front. 

260 North Carolina Troops, 1861-65. 

Meanwhile the tide of battle, so strong in our favor in the 
morning, finally turned. The Confederate commands had 
been greatly weakened by men who left the ranks to loot the 
captured camps, so tempting to ill-fed, ill-equipped soldiers. 
The routed Federals were halted and reformed. Sheridan, 
absent in the morning, came up, made new disposition and 
assailed Early in flank. Then came disaster quick on the 
heels of disaster. 

Our command was in position where we could see the line 
as it broke, first at the point held by Gordon and then at that 
held by Ramseur. These divisions retired from the field in 
great disorder. Johnston's brigade was the only organized 
body that retreated from the face of the enemy with its line 
unbroken, halting and firing repeatedly as they were pressed 
upon. In fact they were then the only organized force in 
Early's whole army. After falling back near Cedar Creek, 
General Pegram sent an order to General Johnston "to cross 
the bridge" and follow the road towards Strasburg. General 
Johnston sent a message saying that it would be impossible to 
cross the bridge, as the breastworks built by the enemy com- 
manded the bridge completely, and the enemy would occupy 
them before he (Johnston) could cross; but that he could 
cross below and preserve his brigade intact. A second staff 
officer from General Pegram ordered Johnston to bring his 
brigade across the bridge just under the command of these 
works which in the meantime, had been occupied by the en- 
emy. While the brigade was attempting to obey the order 
and cross the bridge, a hot fire was poured into it from these 
works. Being totally unprotected and at the mercy of the 
enemy and their formation broken by the rush of fugitives, 
the brigade fell into confusion and retreated under cover of 
the saving darkness. 

General Early says that could 500 men have been rallied 
after the creek was passed the pursuit which was feeble, could 
have been checked sufficiently to have saved not only his own 
artillery and trains, but also to have brought off the captured 
guns, all of which got safely over Cedar Creek, but were cap- 
tured afterwards. Now in Johnston's brigade he would have 
had a large part of the necessary 500. In view of this Gen- 

Twenty-Third Regiment. 261 

eral Pegram's peremptory order to Johnston to cross at the 
bridge was exceedingly unfortunate. For Early lost, not 
only all the captured guns, but likewise every piece of his 
own artillery. A bridge broke on a very narrow part of the 
road between Fisher's Hill and Strasburg, the artillery and 
trains could not cross and being undefended, were taken by a 
small force of Federal cavalry. 

Halting at Fisher's Hill till 3 o'clock the next morning 
the retreat was continued without halt to New Market, nearly 
thirty miles distant. On this retreat and while near Mt. 
Jackson, General Johnston was ordered to face about and 
hold the enemy in check. He formed line of battle, threw 
out skirmishers, and had one of the hottest fights in which the 
brigade was engaged on the skirmish line during the war. 
The enemy was defeated and driven back. 

At New Market we rested undisturbed during the remain- 
der of October Recruits and stragglers came in. Dejected 
spirits revived. The Confederate soldier was himself again, 
dogged;^ indomitable. The order to advance once more down 
the valley was received with joy. Starting 10 November 
on the 11th we approached Cedar Creek, our last un- 
fortunate battle ground. Sheridan's main force fell back to 
Winchester. Driving the cavalry before us we reached New- 
ton, within a few miles of Winchester. Making as great a 
show of force so as to hold as many of the enemy here and 
away from Lee as possible, we remained here the 11th and 
12th, constant skirmishing going on between the opposing 
cavalry forces. Being too weak to attack Sheridan and he 
refusing to leave his intrenchments to attack us, we retreated 
on the night of the 12th, returning to New Market. 

Our brigade formed part of the forces returned to Lee's 
army about the last of November. Camping near Waynes- 
boro, on the following night, we took cars for Richmond. We 
arrived in the Confederate Capital amid a hard snow storm. 
The haste in which we were detrained, double quicked 
through the streets and entrained for Petersburg told us that 
Grant was still hammering at the defences and that we were 
sorely needed. This time he was making another effort to get 
possession of the Petersburg and Weldon Railroad. We 

262 North Carolina Troops, 186l-'65. 

were hurried to a point a few miles south of Petersburg to 
frustrate his attack. 


Then followed much arduous picketing on Hatcher's Rim, 
the winter being a severe one. The Twenty-third took a 
prominent part in the battle of Hatcher's Eun, fought in Feb- 
ruary. It was in the hottest of the fight near the Crow 
house. At one time when the opposing lines of battle were 
less than one hundred yards apart, the flag of the Twenty- 
third was advanced three times, each time falling as its gal- 
lant bearer was shot down. Captain A. D. Peace, in com- 
mand of the regiment, now took up the flag and rushed for- 
ward, followed by the men. But just then came the tidings 
that Pegram had fallen and that we were flanked, and the 
lines broke and were falling back in confusion till Grordon 
dashed to the front, restored the fight and the enemy were 
driven back. 

Our regiment lost heavily in the fight, in proportion to 
numbers. Captain Frank Bennett, in command of the skir- 
mishers that day, lost an arm. Every year of the war had in 
store a wovtnd for this gallant officer. The day before Seven 
Pines, in 1862 ; Chancellorsville, in 1863 ; Spottsylvania, in 
1864; Hatcher's Run, in 1865, are the dates of his wound- 

General Pegram, our division commander, was killed at 
Hatcher's Jiun and General James Walker assumed command 
of the division. Soon after the battle otir brigade was sent 
back to Worth Carolina, going into camp at Garysburg, our 
first point of rendezvous in the hopeful days of 1861. Pour 
years of war had dealt hard with the old Twenty-third. Hard- 
ship, disease and Yankee lead had left but a battered rem- 
nant of the buoyant band of yore. 

Remaining here a few days, we were then put on 
round duty. There were so many men, mostly conscripts, 
deserting from Lee's army and passing southward through 
North Carolina, that the Confederate authorities sought to 
check it by drawing a cordon of troops across their route. 
Johnston's brigade was the one selected for this duty. Some 

Twenty-Third Regiment. 263 

of the companies were sent back to their neighborhoods to 
catch deserters. Company A went back to Richmond County. 
The battalion of sharpshooters went to cope with the recalci- 
trant .mountaineers and possibly other companies elsewhere. 
But the most of the brigade formed the cordon on Roanoke 
river, from Gaston to Clarksville, guarding every road and 
ferry. Our regiment was assigned to the lower end of the 
line near Gaston with headquarters at Warren Plains. Here 
we remained for about a month catching probably as many 
deserters as we had men — which was not many. 

March 23rd Gordon telegraphed Johnston to bring his bri- 
gade to Petersburg at once. The return was so sudden that 
the troops far up the river near Clarksville, did not reach the 
railroad in time and with the detached companies, in other 
parts of the State, joined us at Petersburg some days later. 

It was known to the troops on that night that the next day 
we were going back to Lee's stem battle grotmd around Pe- 
tersburg. Some of the men, loosing that night the captured 
deserters, fled with them under cover of darkness. But not 
many and those few were conscripts, men forced into the 

Bivouacing at Stony Creek the first night and marching 
around the gap in the railroad made by the enemy we pressed 
on to the front. The night of the 24th we slept on the hard 
pavements of Petersburg, the last sleep but one of many a gal- 
lant fellow that neither hardships, nor wounds, nor even de- 
spair, could part from the Southern standard — nothing but 

While it was yet dark on Friday morning, 25 March, the 
men were roused, thrown into column and marched silently 
and rapidly to the east. 

We had been chosen part of the forlorn hope of the des- 
perately straitened Confederacy — honor high, but danger- 
ous. Lee's last hope was by a sudden and desperate assault 
on Grant's left at Fort Steadman to roll back the hostile line 
and loosen the strangling folds drawn around the Confederate 
Capital and its sister city on the Appomattox. 

The opaque east grew vaguely translucent. The Federal 
works on Hare's Hill rose in sharp outline against the bright- 

264 North Carolina Troops, 1861 -'65. 

ening back ground. Then Grordon's assaulting force, con- 
sisting of our division (Walker's) and Grimes' division, 
sprung over the Confederate works and rushed forward. 
Hacking, tearing our way through the hostile abatis, we 
pressed onward under fire too hurried to be other than wild. 
In a few minutes Fort Stedman and a large section of the left 
of Grant's works was in our hands and our part of the line, at 
least, had penetrated several hundred yards further. But the 
troops expected to support us failed to appear. For an hour 
or more we held on. Broad daylight came. Gun after gun, 
battery after battery, from the right, the left, the rear of the 
Federal line was brought to bear, till it is said that 200 guns 
were concentrated on us. No command to retreat reached 
us, but we could see the oth,er troops being driven back. To 
reimain where we were or to attempt to retreat meant, it 
seemed, annihilation. About two thousand of the assaulting 
force surrendered. Our brigade was among the troops that 
came back. Every foot of the retreat was swept by a tre- 
mendous tempest of shot, shell, grape, canister — every missile 
that the engines of war cast from their iron lips. The artil- 
lery ploughed and tore up the ground so ceaselessly that in 
all but color the flying earth looked like a wind driven snow 

The Twenty-third had not many men to lose, but of these 
few a large proportion fell ; how many there are no records to 
tell. General R. D. Johnston, comnianding the brigade, sus- 
tained a severe sprain of the ankle as he climbed the Federal 
works, while unf elt for a few minutes in the excitement of 
the battle, it soon rendered him unable to walk for the rest of 
the war. Colonel Lea, of the Fifth Eegiment, commanded 
the brigade for the remaining weeks of the war. 

Soon after the bloody and unavailing assault on Fort Stead- 
man, our brigade was moved out and placed on picket be- 
tween Swift Creek and Appomattox river. Here for a little 
while we had rest. Early on Sunday morning, 2 April, 
the brigade leaving its position on picket, was hurried on the 
double quick through the streets of Petersburg. The enemy 
had broken over and captured part of the works held by 
Grimes' division and we were the only available troops to re- 

Twenty-Third Regiment. 265 

take it. This break in the line was about a mile south of 
that part of the line we passed over to carry Fort Steadman. 

Captain B. M. Collins, of the Twelfth Eegiment, then Ad- 
jutant-General of the brigade, gives me the following graphic 
account of this, the last day's fighting around the doomed 
city : "We moved out through the covered way, nearly knee 
deep in mud. We could see our captured works swarming 
with blue-coats. The fire was so hot that to expose an inch of 
the person above the protection meant death or wounding. 
Colonel Lea sent me back to report to General Walker, our 
division commander, that to assault such a force with his 
weak brigade of about 250 men was a desperate undertaking. 

General Walker repeated the order to assault, adding that 
Captain Hobson (father of Lieutenant Hobson, the hero of 
Santiago) commanding a force of sharpshooters, would make 
a diversion in our favor. The diversion amounted to noth- 
ing. We crept up within one hundred yards of the enemy, 
sprang from the ditch and charged. A small part of the 
works were taken in this rush. This position we set to work 
to widen, shooting to right and left along the 'line. There 
were traverses along the works at frequent intervals made of 
timber and earth. The ends of the traverses next to the works 
were roughly fitted, leaving many holes and openings. 
Through these holes some of the men fired away at light-blue 
legs while the bulk of the command fired over the traverses at 
dark-blue heads. 

The Federals fought us, but not with the spirit which 
their immense superiority in numbers would have justified. 
An attack half as vigorous as ours must have swept over 
us and captured Petersburg in an hour. For a while no 
attack at all came from our front. A part of our command 
was thrown forward recapturing Fort Mahone in advance of 
the line of works. This opened the hornets nest on us. An 
overwhelming force of red pantalooned Yankees, sweeping 
contemptuously across our weak front, recaptured the fort, 
our troops escaping, bringing the garrison as prisoners. But 
the charging force paid dear for their temerity. Our deadly 
enfilading fire piled the ground with red breeches as their 
flank came by us. 

266 North Carolina Troops, 1861-65. 

"About midnight came the order to withdraw^ telling us 
that all was up. Passing through Petersburg we were re- 
joined by the skirmish line left behind that morning in the 
sudden movement to recapture the works. We then crossed 
the canal and retreated up the south bank of the Appomattox 
river, shells falling around us as we went. 

"Our depleted corps formed the rear and wagon guards on 
the retreat, fighting constantly. The enemy brought up fresh 
troops when one command was worn out. We were under- 
ceaseless strain. I was afraid to sleep lest I be left behind, 
taking only short, restless naps when completely exhausted." 

The handful left of the 23rd fought at Amelia Court 
House and at Sailor's Creek. Here the whole corps was 
broke, but got in fair shape by the next day. 

General E. D. Johnston suffering too acutely from his 
swollen ankle to mount a horse, accompanied the retreat in an 
ambulance. On one occasion finding that the Federal cavalry 
was about to capture the whole line of wagons and ambu- 
lances, he collected a few stragglers, stopped an ammunition 
M^agon, made every man get down and take a gun and Avith 
this motley force prevented the capture of the train. 

Further on in the great retreat the hostile cavalry broke 
into the line and captured General Johnston's ambulance 
and the rest, incltiding a portion of the wagon trains. Gen- 
eral Johnston cut the insignia of rank from his coat, mounted 
a mule, the rider having fled, rode back, organized a force of 
stragglers and recaptured the whole line. 

At midnight of 8 April, we had a bloody skirmish. Be- 
fore sun up of the fateful 9 th the brigade passed smftly 
through the little town of Appomattox. Forming a line to the 
left of the Lynchbxirg road we made our last charge against 
dismounted cavalry in a body of woods. The hostile force 
was swept back in precipitation. 

Then for the last time rang out from ouv thin line, the 
"Rebel Yell," which had so long heralded the.resistless charge 
of the men in gray. 

But then comes an order to halt and to right-about face. 
We are marched back towards the village, near which the 
remnant of the Army of ISTorthem Virginia seems to be con- 

Twenty-Third Regiment. 267 

centrating. Strange apparitions greet our eyes. Officers in 
Federal uniform ride unchallenged among our troops. We 
rub our eyes as if they did not serve us true. But the officers 
in blue still come and go. 

Slowly, heavily, crushingly the agonizing fact bears down 
upon our hearts. The thing that could not happen had hap- 
pened. The end of all things was- at hand. Lee had surren- 

It is said that the last man to fall was a member of the 
First Battalion of North Carolina Sharpshooters, attached to 
our brigade, and that Captain B. M. Collins, of the Twelfth 
North Carolina, fired the last musket fired by Lee's army. 

The greatest of Greek painters in depicting the mental 
agony of a hero shows him with his face covered, leaving to 
the imagination the supreme expression of sorrow. We 
shall so deal with the emotions that filled our breast. Words 
are futile things when we would describe feelings like those 
that weighted the Confederate breast. Better leave to the 
sympathetic imagination which has followed these men from 
the beginning — which has seen with what valor, what forti- 
tude, what matchless self-devotion they .upheld the cause of 
Southern Independence, to measure the otherwise fathomless 
abyss of their sorrow and despair at seeing it stricken down 

Dr. E. I. Hicks, now of Warrenton, Va., the faithful and 
efficient surgeon of the Twenty-third throughout the war, says 
of the regiment: "It did as much hard service, fought as 
many battles, was as constant in the performance of duty as 
any other regiment in the army. And at Appomattox it sur- 
rendered about as many men as any other regiment in the 
army." According to the parole list, Johnston's Brigade 
then numbered 463 men, rank and file. 

The authors are well aware that the foregoing sketch is but 
a meagre and unworthy history of the command whose deeds 
and sufferings they would fain chronicle. More than the 
third of a century has passed since the Twenty-third stacked 
arms for the last time at Appomattox. On many comrades, 
depositories of priceless reminiscences, death has set all too 
soon the seal of silence. Even with the living time is fast 

268 North Carolina Troops, 1861 -'65. 

blurring the scenes that were long so clear and sharply cut 
that it seemed they must abide with us forever. But the 
writers have garnered what little could be saved before it was 
too late, grieving that the harvest should be so poor. 

Many a gallant deed has passed into oblivion with him who 
performed it and the few who witnessed it. Of some individ- 
uals a good deal is recorded, of many, nothing. This must 
not be taken to mean that the men whose gallant deeds are 
given are the only worthy or even the most worthy. Largely 
owing to chance, the m.emory of some brave acts and of the 
men who performed them survives; while others, perhaps 
even more gallant, have been lost. Such authentic ones as 
could be collected the writers have given, deploring none the 
less that time should have been so partial in -his treatment of 
these comirades in arms, preserving the deeds of some, casting 
to oblivion the deeds of others. 

Vestes- E. Turner^ 
Raleigh, N. C. 

H. Clay Wall, 

Rockingham, N. C. 

Note. — In rewriting Sergeant Wall's sketch of the regi- 
ment, it gives me great pleasure to acknowledge the valuable 
assistance of Mr. O. W. Blacknall (son of the late Colonel 
Chas. C. Blacknall), who has visited the important battle- 
fields of the Army of ISTorthern Virginia and has given much 
study to Lee's campaigns. 

He also has had access to the private letters and papers of 
his gallant father which have enabled him to rescue from 
oblivion many interesting and important facts relating to the 
history of the regiment. 

V. E. Turner. 

Raleigh, N. C. , 

9 April, 1901. 


1. John L. Harris, Lieut. -Colonel. 3. Junius P. Moore, Chaplain 

a. Thaddeus D. Love, Major. 4. William G. Balrd, Captain. Co. H 

5. Barna Lane, Captain, Co. E. 


By corporal W. N. ROSE, Company E. 

This regiment was the Fourteenth Eegiment of Volunteers, 
and served as such the first year of the war. 

It was organized at Weldon, IST. C., about the first of 
July, 1861, with the following Field and Staff officers : 

William J. Clarke^ Colonel, of Craven County. 

Thos. B. Venable, Lieutenant-Colonel, of Granville 

Jonathan Evans, Major, of Cumberland County. 

John Feeeel, Assistant Quartermaster, of Halifax 

John A. Williams, Assistant Commissary, of Granville 

De. Bedfoed Beown, Surgeon, of Person County. 

Dr. W. E. Wilson, Assistant Surgeon, of Granville 

William W. Baied, Sergeant-Major, of Person County. 

Company A — Captain, John G. Dillehay, Person County. 

Chaeles D. Claek, Quartermaster Sergeant, of Wake 

Laweence E. Duffy, Orderly Sergeant, of Onslow 

The following companies constituted the regiment : 

Company B — Captain, George T. Duffy, Onslow County. 

Company C — Captain, George W. Crockett, Johnston 

Company D — Captain, David C. Clark, Halifax County. 

Company E — Captain, Barney Lane, Johnston County. 

Company F — Captain, Charles H. Blocker, Cumberland 

Company G — Captain, Thaddeus D. Love, Eobeson 

270 North Carolina Troops; 1861-65. 

CoMPAM-Y ^ — Captain, John L. Harris, Person County. 
Company I^Captain, Ira T. Woodall, Johnston County. 
Company K — Captain, David W. Spivey, Franklin 

The regiment, after its organization, remained at Weldon 
for a few days, practicing in regimental drill. From Wel- 
don, the regiment was ordered to Richmond, Va., where it 
went into camp in the western suburbs of the city for one day 
and night. From here it was ordered to join General John 
B. Floyd, then operating in the region of the Gauley river, 
West Virginia. 

Boarding the cars, we set out on a two days' trip, it being 
often the case that the three engines attached, could hardly as- 
cend the gi-ades on this mountain road, then completed only 
to Jackson River depot. 

The regiment remained at Jackson River about one week, 
it raining most of the time. 

From here we took up the line of march to join General 
Floyd, then in the Kanawha Valley. This was a long and 
tedious march, of nearly or quite one hundred miles, over 
the mountain roads. The weather being very warm the boys 
began to see some of the realities of war and the life of a sol- 
dier. On this march we encamped for a short while at the 
celebrated White Sulphur Springs, Meadow Bluff and Blue 
Sulphur Springs. We joined General Floyd in the latter part 
of October, on his return from the Kanawha, where he and 
General Wise had a fight with General Rosecrans, then in 
command of the Federal forces in West Virginia. 

General Floyd, retreating into the mountains, being pur- 
sued by the Federals, took a position on Big Sewell Mountain 
with the enemy in front. Here he built a very substantial 
breastwork of chestnut logs, and in this position the two 
armies remained during the fall and early part of the winter 
of 1861. 

Heretofore the boys had not been used to hard marching, 
and the severities of camp life. The measles having broken 
out among them, many died from disease. We remained, 
however, in the mountains of West Virginia until the winter 

Twenty-Fourth Regiment. 271 

was well advanced. It was in this campaign that the Twen- 
ty-fourth Regiment served under the immortal soldier, Robert 
E. Lee, then a Brigadier-General. From here the regiment 
was ordered to Richmond and on to Petersburg, where we 
went into winter quarters at the Model Farm. 

Here the boys had fun and a good time generally. 

In the early spring of 1862, the regiment was ordered to 
Eastern ISTorth Carolina. We remained at and near Mur- 
freesboro, IST. C, for quite a while watching the enemy. It 
was near this place in May, 1862, that the regiment was re- 
organized and became the Twenty-fourth Regiment, State 
Troops. As stated in the outset, the regiment up to this time 
was twelve months Volunteers and the Fourteenth Regiment. 
In the reorganization there was some dissatisfaction among 
the volunteers at having to move up to higher numbers. The 
Fourteenth Volunteers, however, became the Twenty-fourth 
State Troops and reorganized as follows : 

William J. Claeke, Colonel, of Craven County. 

J OHN L. Haeeis, Lieutenant-Colonel, of Person County. 

Thaddeus D. Love, Major, of Robeson County. 

Oliver D. Cooke^ Adjutant, of Craven County. 

John Feerel^ Assistant Quartermaster, of Halifax 

John A. Williams, Assistant Commissary, of Granville 

Dr. Wm. R. Wilson, Surgeon, of Granville County. 

De. Charles Dufft, Assistant Surgeon, of Onslow 

EvANDEE McNair, Chaplain, of Robeson County. 

Other Staff Officers about the same as first year of the 

Company A — Captain, James Holeman, Person County. 
Company B — Captain, Geo. T. Duffy, Onslow County. 
Company C — Captain, John D. Gulley, Johnston County. 
Company D — Captain, David C. Clark, Halifax County. 
Company E — Captain, Barney Lane, Johnston County. 
Company F — Captain, Jas. S. Evans, Cumberland 

272 North Carolina Troops, 1861-'65. 

Company G — Captain, A. A. Mclver, Robeson County. 
Company H — Captain, Jas. C. Bailey, Person County. 
Company I — Captain, Ira T. Woodall, Johnston County, 
Company K — Captain, David W. Spivey, Franklin 

Having thus organized, we were now "in for the war." 
The regiment left North Carolina for Virginia just before 
and in time for the seven days' fight below Richmond. We 
had passed the first year of the war in marching and watch- 
ing the enemy, and many of the boys were fearful that the 
war would close without giving them a chance at the Yankees, 
but the time had now come when such fears were no longer to 
be entertained, for it was on 25 June, 1862, that the Twenty- 
fourth Regiment was led into its first engagement at White 
Oak Swamp, below Richmond. 

In this fight Compa,ny E, of the Twenty-fourth, was 
thrown forward as skirmishers, and while deploying William 
Scott, of this company, was killed. This was the first man 
killed in the Twenty-fourth Regiment by a Yankee bullet. In 
this fight we began to see war as a reality. We held the line 
that had been occupied by the Tenth Louisiana Regiment in 
the morning part of the day, they having been badly cut to 
pieces. At sunset the Twenty-fourth was ordered to take a 
Yankee battery that had been shelling us during that after- 
noon, not more than 150 yards in front, but while we were 
forming in the hedgerow, the Yankees began falling back. 

Soon after dark, the Twenty-fourth Regiment was relieved 
by Colonel Zeb Vance's Regiment, the Twenty-sixth JSTorih 
Carolina, and sent back immediately in the rear to rest for 
the night. However, we were not out of danger, for during 
the night Vance's men got up a fuss with the enemy, and 
Yankee bullets came thick and fast among us. 

Next morning, 26 June, the Twenty-fourth Regiment 
was ordered to re-occupy the same position of the even- 
ing before. On reaching this post. Colonel Vance came up 
to Colonel Clarke and asked him if he was ready. Clarke an- 
swered him yes. Whereupon Vance said : "Very well then, 
Colonel. I will open the ball, and the baby shall be born." 

Twenty-Fourth Regiment. 273 

In a few minutes he turned and walked ofE in the direc- 
tion of his command, whistling as jovial as a boy going to 

Reaching his command he gave the order to charge, but the 
Yankees did as the evening before — they limbered up and 
got further. This was the first time the writer ever saw 
Colonel Vance, and this little incident made an impression 
that Vance would do to tie to, no matter where you placed him, 
and we never had cause to change that opinion. Later in the 
day, the Twenty-fourth Regiment was ordered to the right 
of the Confederate lines, and later to the extreme right. 
About dark an order passed down the line to fall back in good 
order. This order proved to be a false order, but was not so 
understood by Captain Lane, who was on the extreme right 
of the regiment, tmtil he was lost in a thick marsh or swamp, 
where we had to remain during the night in water almost knee 
deep. We could hear the enemy as they were moving near 
us on our right. We could hear the clanking of their armor, 
and did not know what moment they might discover our iso- 
lated condition. Company E being cut off from the regiment. 

To the writer, this was perhaps the most miserable night 
of the war. Captain Lane, however, at dawn of day, found 
his way back to the regiment, and Company E resumed her 
place in line. The regiment was then ordered to drive the 
enemy from an oak thicket in front, which was done in ad- 
mirable style. 

We quietly remained on this line the remainder of the day. 

The 28th was passed quietly by us on this line. The 29th 
was quiet also. 

The 30th, moved to the left and did some skirmishing. 

1 July, McClellan's retreat from Richmond was dis- 
covered. Lee's pursuit commenced. The Twenty-fourth 
Regiment had previously been assigned to General Robert 
Ransom's Brigade, and Ransom's brigade was among the ad- 
vance troops, the Twenty-fourth Regiment at the head of the 
column. Reaching the fork of the road near Frazier's farm, 
we found General Lee and Staff on horseback. General Lee 
remarked to Colonel Clarke that we were an hour too late, that 


274 North Carolina Troops, 1861-65. 

McClellan liad just passed. We followed on, however, reach- 
ing Malvern Hill about 3 p. m. Wright's Georgia 
Brigade on Ransom's right led the attack. The Twen- 
ty-fourth Eegiment was posted on the hill behind an 
old fence. While in this position, Eansom rode in front of 
the line, and gave the order to wait until we could "see the 
whites of their eyes, and d — n it, give it to them." We were 
soon, however, moved to the support of Wright, who by this 
time was getting things hot. Soon after the whole of Lee's 
army became engaged, and from then until 9 o'clock at night, 
the contest was unabated. It was here that Captain Bill Gul- 
ley, of Company C, from Johnston County, was found dead 
in advance of any other Southern soldier that fell on this 
blood-red field. We slept at night on the battle field, expect- 
ing a renewal of the strife the next morning. Morning came 
and with it the rain in torrents, which prevented a renewal of 
the strife. 

McClellan retreated to Harrison's Landing, on the James. 
Lee followed. McClellan evacuated Harrison's Landing and 
swung his army around to the north of Richmond. Lee 
moved to the Rapidan. The Twenty-fourth Regiment camped 
for a few days near the old Seven Pines battle field, and then 
crossed the James, camped near Drewry's Bluff. From here 
we marched through Petersburg, and went into camp near 
City Point. It was here that we heard the farewell address 
of our beloved Vance, who had been elected to the governor- 
ship of ISTorth Carolina. From here the regiment moved to 
the north of Petersburg and camped on Dunlap's farm. About 
the first of September we reached Richmond, boarded the 
train to Gordonsville, the railroad having been torn up be- 
yond there to Manassas. From Gordonsville we took up the 
line of march to Frederick City, Maryland, fording the Po- 
tomac north of Leesburg. The first night in Maryland, a 
detachment was sent out to attack the Yankee picket at Mon- 
ocacy bridge, under Captain Duffy, of Company B. Cross- 
ing the canal, an attack was made, in which Captain Duffy 
was severely wounded and he and his men taken prisoners. 
The following day we recrossed the Potomac at Point of 
Rocks, south of Harper's Ferry. The next day we marched 

Twenty-Fourth Regiment. 275 

thirty-eight miles to reinforce troops near the Ferry, whose 
garrison was captured the next day. 

From here we forded the Shenandoah and 16 Septem- 
ber we crossed the Potomac near Shepherdstown. At 
night Lee's army was drawn up in line of battle in front of 
Sharpsburg. On the following morning Ransom's Brigade 
was placed on the extreme right. The battle opened from 
center to left of Lee's line, soon Ransom's Brigade was trans- 
ferred in double quick to the left. Here we were ordered to 
lay off our knapsacks, which we never saw again. The Twen- 
ty-fourth Regiment was ordered to dislodge some Yankees 
from behind a stone fence, and of course we did so in good 
style. General J. E. B. Stuart, with General Ransom, 
watching this charge from a distance. General Stuart re- 
marked to General Ransom that every soldier in that com- 
mand was worthy to be made a commander. Ransom replied, 
"God bless the gallant boys, I will never curse them any 

It was in commemoration of this gallant charge that Mrs. 
Mary Bayard Clarke, wife of our Colonel, wrote that beau- 
tiful poem, which runs something like this : 

"Well may the noble Old North State, 

Be of her soldiers proud, 
But of her glorious Twenty-Fourth 

I'll sing with praises loud. 
Eight gallantly they've borne the flag, 

Their State unto them gave; 
Though torn by many a shot and shell, 

Long may it o'er them wave. 

"God with us on this blood-red field, 

Is set in purest white; 
For by His arm and their good swords 

They trust to win the fight. 
On Sewell's Mount they tentless lay. 

For days in sleet and snow, 
Faced sickness, hunger, cold and toil, 

As bravely as the foe. 

276 North Carolina Troops, 1861 -'65. 

''They foiled the wily Roseerans, 

Neath Floyd and General Lee, 
And bore their part in Richmond fights 

With Ransom and Hnger. 
That bloody charge, which cost so dear, 

At Malvern Hill they led, 
And in the foremost rank they left. 

Their brave and honored dead. 

Upon Potomac's famous banks. 

Again their banners flew. 
In Sharpsburg's fight they won a place 

And stoutly held it too. 
The gallant Louisiana Tenth 

Which fought with them on Malvern Hill, 
Here again beside them stood. 

And cheered them with good will. 

"And when their General saw them charge, 

His eyes with tears ran o'er, 
'God bless the gallant boys,' he cried, 

'I'll ne'er curse them more.' " 

On the following day we remained in line, but that night 
we were again on the march, with orders to follow our file 
leader and ask no questions ; daylight the next morning once 
more finding us across the Potomac, near Shepherdstown. 

We then went on to Martinsburg, and on to near Win- 
chester, Va., where we went into camp for about ten days. 
From here we were ordered to Culpepper and Madison Court 
House, whence in the latter part of November we marched 
to Fredericksburg where we occupied a very important posi- 
tion. On the famous Marye's Heights, 13 December, the 
Twenty-fourth Regiment suffered severely, losing many 
men and several valuable officers. It was here that Lieuten- 
ant London Browne, of Company E, was mortally wounded 
and died a few days later. 

It was after the battle of Fredericksburg that Ransom's 
Brigade left the army of Northern Virginia (3 January, 
1863) and was sent back to North Carolina. 

General Robert Ransom, in June, 1863, was promoted to 
Major-General, and sent west, and Colonel Matt. W. 

Twenty-Fourth Regiment. 277 

Ransom, of the Thirty-fifth Regiment, promoted to Brigadier 
in his place, thenceforth he was our Brigadier. 

Just here, the, writer woiild say for General Matt. Ran- 
som, what we helieve every soldier would say that ever be- 
longed to the old brigade, that IS^orth Carolina never produced 
a more noble son or a better soldier. He was ever kind to his 
men, and as indulgent as army discipline would permit him 
to be, always urging them to duty and at the same time warn- 
ing them against unnecessary danger. The night before the 
storming of Plymouth, IST. C, by Ransom's Brigade in rear 
of the town, the writer was acting as a courier for General 
Ransom from the skirmish line and as such bore a dispatch 
from Captain Lane to General Ransdm with regard to the 
bridge at the creek below the town.. He asked us onany 
questions, spoke words of kindness and caution, and said that 
he would not have one life lost unnecessarily for the glory of 
beating the Yankees in the morning. Such a commander 
will ever be held dear in the hearts of the old brigade, and his 
memory can never perish while there is one left living to tell 
the story. 

About the first of March, 1863, the regiment reached Wel- 
don, ]Sr. C. ; went on to Goldsboro and Wilmington, back to 
ISTorth East river, and on to Kenansville. Ransom's Bri- 
gade was sent down here to guard the Wilmington and Wel- 
don Railroad. The Twenty-fourth Regiment reached Golds- 
boro from Kenansville 21 March. From Goldsboro we 
were ordered to Kinston, where we did picket duty below 
the town at Wise's Fork and Gum Swamp. At the latter 
place we had some skirmishing with the enemy, and drove 
them as far in the direction of New Bern as "Deep Gully." 
20 April the Twenty-fourth Regiment was ordered to Wel- 
don. Nothing transpired worthy of note while at this place. 
31 May ordered to Virginia; 10 June down on Blackwa- 
ter, Va. While in this region, and near the home of our be- 
loved General, we had a fight with Spears' cavalry at Boone's 
Mill near Jackson, IST. C. The Yankees caught some of the 
boys in the pond swimming, but of course, they were out in 
time and "whipped" the Yanks just the same. The next 
morning after this little fight, General Ransom took the 

278 North Carolina Troops, 1861-65. 

Twenty-fourth Kegiment to his home near by and gave us 
breakfast, and some of the boys said here was the most fried 
bacon they ever saw at one time. The Twenty-fourth Kegi- 
ment had also a skirmish down on the Blackwater with some 
Yankees that came up the river on a gunboat. 

Ordered from here to Drewry's Bluff, reaching that place 
16 June. From this place, a few days later, we were sent 
down below Eichmond, at Bottom's Bridge. 4 July had a 
fight near the bridge, in which we lost several men, and drove 
back the enemy with severe loss, after which we returned to 
Eichmond about 8 July, and went into camp for a 
few days below the city. On the march from Bottom's 
Bridge one of the boys became sick, and. the writer was de- 
tailed and left behind, to take care of and help him on to 
camp. Night soon came — one of those dark, dismal nights, 
that is so intensely dark that we can almost feel it with the 
hand, and we had to pass over the old battle field of the seven 
days' fights below Eichmond of the year before. As we 
trudged along we talked of the loneliness of the hour and of 
the sacredness of the ground over which we were passing, not 
knowing what moment we might stumble over the bleaching 
bones of an old comrade that had fallen on this blood-red field 
the year before. We moved on, however, reaching camp late 
at night, tired and worn out. The Twenty-fourth remained 
here a few days, after which it was ordered to Petersburg. 

From Petersburg, on 20 July, the Eegiment was or- 
dered to Weldon, N. C. Beaching that place we went into 
camp on the east side of the town. It was expected, when the 
Eegiment left Eichmond, that we would go on to Eocky 
Mount, ]Sr. C, as the Yankees had the day before invested 
that town and burned part or all of the pviblic buildings ; but 
on reaching North Carolina it was found that the enemy had 
fallen back nearer the coast. The regiment remained near 
Weldon for quite a while awaiting orders. On the 28th of 
October we left Weldon for Tarboro, N. C, reaching there 
on the 30th. On the first of November we set out for Ham- 
ilton, N. C, arriving there on the 6th. Here the regiment re- 
mained for some time, doing picket duty at Eawl's Mill and 
below there. Scouting parties were often sent out from the 

Twenty-Fourth Regiment. 279 

regiment to go down in the enemy's lines in the vicinity of 
Washington, E". 0., to watch their movements. The writer 
had some experience along this line, but time and space forbid 
any account of the same here. 22 E"ovember, ordered to 
Williamston, IST. 0. Here the regiment did picket duty on 
the river below the town for some time. 

In the latter part of December Major Love took a detach- 
ment of three companies from the regiment, to-wit : Compa- 
nies E, I, and F, and went down near to Plymouth to ambus- 
cade a regiment of Yankee cavalry that was in the habit of 
going in the country to forage. After a hard march all night 
over hedges and byways, we reached a place of concealment 
to await their coming ; but soon after the rain began pouring 
down in torrents, and so thoroughly wet our guns and aimmu- 
nition that the Major gave up the idea as a bad job, and we 
set out to retrace our footsteps, marching on until late in the 
afternoon. We reached a mill, where we found Colonel 
Clarke with the remaining companies of the Twenty-fourth. 
Here we camped for the night, completely tired and worn 
out. On the following day the regiment set out in the direc- 
tion of Weldon, reaching there a day or two later, where we 
remained for a few days. 

13 January, 1864, the Twenty-fourth Regiment reached 
Tarboro, JST. C, and remained here for a short while, doing 
picket duty below the town. In the latter part of January 
the Twenty-fourth was ordered to Goldsboro, and from this 
place to Kinston, ISTew Bern and back to Goldsboro and on to 
Weldon. It was a continuous move, with no fighting, except 
at ISTew Bern, where we had what we called a litte "round" 
with the Yanks. From Weldon, 19 February, the Twenty- 
fourth Regiment was ordered to Petersburg, Va., and 
went into camp on Dunn's Hill, near the city. 17 Febru- 
ary returned to Weldon, IST. C. 24 February the regiment 
was called on to re-enlist for the duration of the war. It 
was understood by the boys, however, that they were in for 
the war, and the consequence was, but few re-enlisted. 

On 25 February Major Love took Company E, with 
three other companies of the regiment, and went down 
in' Eastern Carolina on a series of hard marches. The de- 

280 North Carolina Troops, 1861-'65. 

tachment reached G-atesville about the first of March. Erom 
Gatesville on to South Mills, which place had previously been 
burned by the enemy. At this place the Yankee cavalry was 
stationed, and on our approach a running fight ensued up the 
Dismal Swamp Canal. We followed up the canal for several 
miles, driving the enemy before us, until we reached the only 
house we had seen since we had left the burnt town. Here 
we halted, and at night Major Love placed the detachment 
in ambush, and awaited results. Soon after, the enemy was 
heard moving in our direction down the canal ; and had it not 
been for the impatience of the detachment highest up the 
canal, who fired too soon, we must have had a nice time of it. 
This, of course, spoiled the whole trick, and the Yankees 
whirled about and made a hasty retreat up the canal — ^not 
however, without leaving several dead and wounded. 

It was now snowing, 'and the night was intensely cold, and 
we without fire or blankets. Major Love called to order and 
returned down the canal, breaking the dikes behind him — 
reaching South Mills in the early morning, where we re- 
mained that day. The following night we set out on a march 
of about thirty miles and went into camp ; remaining here for 
a day or two, or until the regiment joined us. From this 
place, the Twenty-fourth set out for Suffolk, Va., which place 
was in possession of a regiment of negro cavalry. Moving on 
during the day, we camped within seven miles of the place. At 
3 o'clock in the morning we resumed the m.arch, General Ran- 
som with the brigade having joined vis the night before. 
Moving on in the darkness, we came in contact with what we 
supposed the enemy drawn iip in line of battle at the fork of 
the road. Ransom ordered Colonel Clarke to form the Twen- 
ty-fourth in line and advance as near as possible without forc- 
ing a fight to observe, if possible, if it was the enemy or Col- 
onel Tom Kennedy's cavalry that was supposed to have been 
captured a day or two before. It proved to be Kennedy, 
which was found out when it was light enough so that we 
could see their gray uniforms. Each party sprung their guns 
many times that morning, and had one gun been discharged, 
there wotild have been a dreadful slaughter among friends. 
After the parties were known to each other, Kennedy took the 


1. James A. Holeman, Captain. Co. A. 3. 

2. John A. Williams, Captain, Commis- 4. 

sary. 5. 

C. S. Powell. 2d Lieut.. Co. E. 

J A. Long. Orderly Sergeant, Co. H. 

Edwin G. Moore, Private, Co. A. 

Twenty-Fourth Regiment. 281 

left hand road and Ransom the right. We ran in with the 
Yankee pickets about three miles from town and drove them 
in. In the afternoon the Twenty-fourth Regiment was sent 
around to the west of the town at a church. Soon after we 
saw in the distance a squad of Yankee cavalry. At this mo- 
ment Captain Durham, of Ransom's StafE, took charge of 
the Texas Zouaves, about fifteen in niimber, and mounted on 
very poor horses, dashed forward to meet them. A running 
fight ensued, the Twenty-fourth being ordered to follow in 
double-quick. Durham pursued at close quarters until reach- 
ing the lower part of town, when the enemy received rein- 
forcements and a hand to hand conflict was had. The Twen- 
ty-fourth Riegiment had now reached the scene in disorder, 
having double-quicked about two miles. The ladies were on 
the streets with their inspiring words and telling us that it 
was but a regiment of negroes, to go forward. At this mo- 
ment General Ransom came up and commenced forming the 
men in ranks. In the meantime the negroes were forming 
for a charge, splendidly mounted on fine chargers, and at the 
command dashed forward as if they would ride over us ; but 
every man of the Twenty-fourth that had arrived needed no 
words of command to make him do his duty, except to hold 
his fire until the proper time. On they came to within forty 
paces, when the order was given to fire, which was done with 
telling effect. It was enotigh. The negroes wheeled their 
horses and fled in the direction from which they came; and 
the writer has often thought this the most splendid exhibi- 
tion of horsemanship we have ever witnessed. The negroes 
did not return. Those that fell into our hands were in some 
houses in town and refused to surrender, and continued to flre 
out of the windows until the}' were burned up in the houses. 
Late in the evening General Ransom permitted the Twenty- 
fourth Regiment to plunder the camps of the enemy, which 
were rich in many good rations, which were very much needed 
by our boys. We remained in Siiffolk two days, and our part- 
ing with the citizens and ladies were as sad as our meeting 
upon entering the town was joyous. On 12 March, 1864, 
we again reached Weldon, worn ovit and tired, and went into 
camp, soon after which orders came to clean guns and get 

282 North Carolina Troops, 1861 -'65. 

ready for regimental inspection. We remained at this camp 
for several days. 

We left Weldon in the early part of April and reached 
Plymouth, IST. C, about the 15th, and began the siege of that 
place. There were about 3,500 Yankees here, under the 
command of General Wessell, strongly fortified by a 
series of breastworks and forts, well mounted, with nearly two 
hundred heavy siege guns, which would seem to make the 
place well nigh invulnerable to an equal number of troops as 
the assaulting party. 

General Hoke established his lines on the upper town or 
river, and Ransom's Brigade on the south or front part of the 
town, all under the command of Hoke. On the 18th, Ran- 
som was ordered to assault the works in front of the town 
which, by the way, was that part of the work that embraced 
the three principal forts and could not be carried by an as- 
sault made directly in front. 

Preparatory to making this assault the Twenty-fourth Reg- 
iment was drawn up in line of battle in a skirt of woods, some 
three-quarters of a mile from the enemy's works, and a de- 
tail made, to intercept and drive back the enemy's sharpshoot- 
ers, posted some two hundred yards in front of us in the open 
field. Our line advanced about half the distance, when the 
firing commenced, and we can truthfully say, that this was 
the finest work of the kind we ever saw, our lines steadily 
advancing, while the enemy's retreated into the forts. 

The Twenty-fourth Regiment followed the line of skirmish- 
ers to within a short distance of the forts, where we were 
halted and ordered to lie down in a deep ravine. At this mo- 
ment (dark) all the artillery on both sides, that could be 
brought to bear was in full play, and from then until a late 
hour at night it was a sublime, as it was also an awful scene, 
to watch the transition of the bursting shells, dealing death 
and destruction on every hand. The light caused by the 
vivid flash of the cannon and the explosion of shells, made 
it sufficient at times to have picked up a pin from the earth. 
In this assault our casualties were comparatively light, con- 
sidering how terriffic was this artillery duel. 

We withdrew late at night, and the next day Ransom's Bri- 

Twenty-Fourth Regiment. 283 

gade was sent around in rear of the town on the river to make 
the assault from below. Company E, of the Twenty-fourth, 
was thrown forward as skirmishers and to find out, if possi- 
ble, if the bridge at the creek had been burned. As we have 
before stated in this sketch, the writer was acting as courier 
from the skirmish line to General Ransom's headquarters. It 
was now night, and I had delivered a message froim Captain 
Lane, in charge of the skirtmishers, to General Ransom, with 
regard to the force of the enemy at the creek, when Lieuten- 
ant Applewhite, of Texas, and acting as aid to General Ran- 
som, was standing by and asked permission to take "this 
man" (myself), and go to the creek and ascertain if the bridge 
had been burned. Ransom at first objected, but finally 
yielded, and Applewhite and myself set out, but did not go 
far before we met General Bearing, of our eavarly, and one 
other man. 

On learning that we were going to the creek, Bearing and 
his man joined us and we four soon stood on the bank of the 
creek. The bridge had been burned and a small boat was on 
the opposite side. Bearing asked who would swim the creek 
and get the boat, and no sooner said than the man we did not 
know was across the creek and had the boat. The enemy, as 
we soon learned, was about forty paces from us behind breast- 
works. The man that swam the creek, we have learned since 
the war was Cavenaugh, from Onslow county. It was a 
brave deed, and we mention it simply to show the material 
that composed the Southern army, then around Plymouth, 
and no doubt there were hundreds of equally brave spirits 
in that unequal contest, some of whom fell that night and the 
next morning in the storming of this strong citadel. 

Captain Lane, with Company E, of the Twenty-fourth, 
now arrived at the creek, and soon after a pontoon was fixed 
and Lane and his ooimpany went across to the Yankee side. 
When he gave the order to forward, the enemy poured into 
them a heavy fire from behind breastworks, wounding several 
of Lane's men. Lane, however, maintained his ground until 
reinforcements arrived, which was about ten minutes later, 
when the Yankees fled. 

We followed on to a hedgerow about one thousand yards 
from the main forts, when Company E held the skirmish 

284 North Carolina Troops, 1861-'65. 

line during the night. At dawn of the day, the 20th, Cap- 
tain Durham of Eansom's Staff, ordered Captain Lane to 
forward his line of Skirmishers. This order was greeted by 
a shower of minie balls from the enemy. At the time all 
of his artillery that could be brought to bear upon us was in 
full play, which made the earth quake beneath our feet. 
Amid this storm of shot and shell, Lane led his line in ad- 
vance of the line of battle to the first fort. On arriving at 
the fort, Daniel King, Orderly Sergeant of Company E, 
mounted the parapet and demanded its surrender, which 
order was obeyed. The second fort was then stormed and 
carried ; the third also, and our victory was complete. The 
Twenty-fourth Regiment and Eansom's Brigade had stormed 
and taken an army greater in nunibers than they themselves, 
and the enemy well fortified within these strong forts, but 
this was not done without some loss to us, for in Company E, 
Lane's, alone, we numbered twenty-one killed and wounded. 

Hoke's Brigade occupied the line above town on the river 
and consequently did but little of the fighting on this day. 
This was a complete victory for our side and it was greatly 
due to Ransom and his brigade. 

The recapture of Plymouth, IST. C, under the existing cir- 
cumstances, was one of the most splendid victories achieved 
by Southern arms in this great contest, and about the only 
hard fought battle on North Carolina soil. At night, the 
troops were marched out of town and the dead buried with 
military honors. On the following day the Twenty-fourth 
Regiment was sent to garrison the town where we remained 
for a day or two, when we were relieved by the Fiftieth Regi- 
ment, North Carolina troops, and Ransom's Brigade sent to 
lay siege to Washington, N. C. 

Soon after our arrival at this town the Yankees took to their 
gunboats and left for parts unknown, and we set oxit for New 
Bern, N. C, reaching a point near the city on the south side 
of the Trent, 6 May. Here we had some fighting, cap- 
turing about fifty prisoners, with a loss of but two men on 
our side killed. 

8 May, we reached Kinston, N. C, on our way to 
Virginia. About 10 May, we reached Petersburg, Va., 

Twenty-Fourth Regiment. 285 

and were sent down on the James river to intercept Butler, 
then advancing on Richmond from the south side of the 
James ; Ransom's Brigade was now assigned to Bushrod 
Johnson's division, under command of General Beauregard. 
Ransom's Brigade was now sent to Drewry's Bluff, and on 
the 14th, was sent down the railroad to occupy a line of 
breastworks on the extreme right of our lines. The Twenty- 
fourth Regiment rested its right at the end of the works, on 
a marsh said to be impassable by troops. 

The enemy was closing in upon us in front and file. Soon 
after reaching this position the enemy broke through this 
swamp and attacked our line in rear, breaking our line tem- 
porarily and severely wounding General Ransom. At this 
moment, the gallant Captain Durham was killed at the head 
of the Twenty-fourth Regiment, which was now being pressed 
from all sides and the only alternative was to cut through the 
enemy's lines from the rear, which was done in admirable 
style. The Twenty-fourth was ordered to cover the retreat 
up the railroad, the enemy shelling with all their artillery 
which made this position anything but comfortable. At 
night, the Twenty-fourth was ordered to rest on their arms 
and Company E was sent forward on a skirmish. During 
the night we could hear the cries of a wounded reb in front 
of our lines, the words of whom we could not understand at 
the time, or that it had a special signification or meaning 
until hostilities ceased for the time and the wounded man 
was brought safely into our lines. It was said, by men that 
knew, that this man was a Free Mason, and was thus safely 
rescued. Firing was kept up during the night, and in the 
early morning of the 15th assumed the proportions of a regu- 
lar battle. Fighting was kept up during the day, and in the 
afternoon the whole line became engaged. Ransom's Brigade 
occupying much the same position of the night before. The 
Twenty-fourth Regiment suffered terribly during the day. 
Cotapany E lost nine m«n wounded and one killed by the ex- 
ploding of a shell. It was here that Colonel Clarke, com- 
manding the brigade, was severely wounded, and never again 
returned to the regiment. ISTight closed this day's fighting, 
and as the morning of 16 May,' 1864, was ushered 

286 North Carolina Troops, 186]-'65. 

in, we were again on the move, the Twenty-fourth Kegi- 
ment occupying the left of the line from that of the previous 
day. About 9 o'clock Ransom's Brigade, in command of 
Colonel Eutledge, of the Twenty-fifth Eegiment, was ordered 
to retake a portion of our works that had been captured the 
day before. Lieutenant-Colonel Harris led the Twenty- 
fourth to the charge. The route over which we had to pass 
was about 500 yards. 

The timber had been cut and felled in the direction from 
which we had to make the advance. At the word forward, we 
made our way as best we could, losing our men at every step. 
Reaching the works occupied by the enemy, the conflict be- 
came fearful, the breastwork only dividing the two lines. At 
this moment the Twenty-fourth Regiment had one hundred or 
more of her already thin ranks stricken down, and for the 
first time in her history had to fall back in disorder. On 
reaching the point from which we first started^ Colonel Har- 
ris reformed the regiment for a second charge. Captain 
Lane, Company E, on getting his men together, found that 
he had but two men left. The writer was one of the two. Ad- 
dressing General Beauregard, who was present, in tears, told 
him that he had lost all of his men but two, pointing to my- 
self and Creech. Beauregard said to Lane: "Captain, you 
have done enough ; take those two men and act as rear guard 
and recruit your company." But when Harris ordered the 
second charge. Lane ordered us to fall in and we did so. But 
on reaching the works the Yankees had fled, leaving their 
dead and wounded behind. 

This was a heart-rending scene. The dead and wounded 
were lying in every conceivable condition, and cries for help 
went up all around. It is enough that we should say, that 
none could look on and not weep, unless he possessed a heart 
as unsusceptible as stone, or that he were a soldier. Butler 
retreated to Bermuda Hundred. Beauregard followed. 
About the flrst of June, we had a heavy skirmish fight at Ber- 
muda Hundred, and the fighting was kept up from day to 
day for several days. On one occasion Company E was sent 
to reinforce Colmpany H on the skirmish line. Soon the 
whole regiment was sent and drove the enemy back. Reach- 

Twenty-Fourth Regiment. 287 

ing a road, Colonel Harris gave the order to lie down, and 
just here happened a little incident that we will mention for 
the fun of the thing. When the order came to lie down, the 
writer crossed over the road and took a position behind a 
forked oak, and began firing at the Yankee colors about one 
hundred yards off. Soon we were joined by Tom Toler, who 
also began to fire soon after. Looking around we saw that 
the regiment was going. Calling to Tom to let's go, he said, 
"No, we are going up." 

We shook hands and parted and on reaching the regiment, 
I told the boys Tom was gone up ; that he was a prisoner, but 
in a few moments up came Tom, out of breath, puffing and 
blowing, and said the next time he offered himself to the 
Yanks, they would be sure to have him. The boys gave a 
loud yell at Tom's expense. 

18 June below Richmond, near Bottom's Bridge, doing 
picket duty on a creek. This was as bad picket duty 
as we ever did, the two lines being divided by the streaim and 
not more than forty yards apart. All that was necessary for 
the exchange of shots was to show yourself or shake a bush. 

21 June, left Chaffin's Bluff and went to Petersburg, fight- 
ing every day. On reaching the city, we were hastened for- 
ward to reinforce some militia that had withstood the Yan- 
kee forces around Petersburg up to this time, and had been 
driven to our last line of works. Soon after our arrival, the 
enemy charged our regiment in heavy column. We let them 
come sufficiently near, when we mowed them down so fear- 
fully that hundreds threw down their guns and surrendered. 

At night the firing was kept up on both sides. Just before 
day the enemy broke Johnson's (Tennessee) Brigade and 
came in our rear before we knew it. The result was that all 
of the Twenty-fourth that were asleep were captured, being 
over one hundred. It was now day and the remainder of the 
Twenty-fourth fell back to a new position, and were ordered 
to build new works and support Miller's battery. We worked 
during the day with our hands and bayonets, and by night we 
had a strong work. At night Colonel Faison, in command of 
the brigade, ordered us to move to the left, and soon after to 
take back a portion of the works that Wise's Virginia Brigade 

288 North Carolina Troops, 1861-'65. 

had been run out of. The Twenty-fourth Regiment was led 
by Major Love. This was a desperate struggle, it being nec- 
essary to club the enemy out with the butts of our guns. It was 
soon over, however, and our loss was light, considering the 
situation. We remained here in this captured works until 
just before day, the enemy's dead and wounded in piles 
among us, when we were moved to the right. This brought 
day of the morning of the 23rd, and we were again ordered 
to built breastworks which was again done during the day 
with bayonets as our only tools. The eneray massed their 
columns all day in a deep ravine in our front. 

About sunset they advanced several columns deep. Our 
lines were doubled also. On they came to within seventy- 
five yards before we gave them the first fire; still they came 
until the third round, Avhen they weakened and fell back 
down the hill, still firing but to no effect, as the balls passed 
well over us. About 9 o'clock at night, we were relieved by 
General Longstreet's corps, and sent out near the reservoir 
for rest, the first we had had for several days. On leaving 
the works, we came in range of the enemy's bullets and suf- 
fered considerable loss. The siege of Petersburg now began 
by General Grant, and the line of breastworks built this day 
by the Southern army was the line maintained and held by 
them during the remaining nine raontlis of the war. During 
this nine months, there was scarcely a moment, and certainly 
not an hour, but the sound of arms could be heard on some 
portion of the lines. Time rolled on. Ransom's Brigade oc- 
cupying that portion of Lee's line from the right bank of Ap- 
pomattox river to and beyond the iron railroad bridge, east of 
the city. Skirmishing was now an every day occurrence. 

In many places the two lines were not one hundred yards 

On 30 July, Grant sprung the mine, afterwards 
known as the "Crater, or Blow-xip at Petersburg." The right 
of the Twenty-fourth Regiment rested within a few paces of 
the "Crater" at the time of this explosion, and was among the 
first troops to engage in repelling "Bumside's IsTegro Sol- 
diers" from this bloody chasm. We remained here among 
these dead negroes until they were buried, or partially so, for 

Twenty-Fourth Regiment. ,289 

several days, the stench being unbearable under other circum- 
stances. This portion of the lines was ever after known as 
Mortar Hill. Subsequently, the Twenty-fourth Regiment 
was moved to the left, and occupied the line from the iron 
bridge to the river as before stated. Here it was our daily oc- 
cupation to watch the enemy through port holes made through 
sand bags and to dodge mortar shells. At night we did picket 
duty in the rifle pits between the two lines, in some places not 
more than forty yards from the Yankee pickets. Often we 
would meet and exchange tobacco and coffee, and have a social 
chat with each other. 

In Qctober, the Regiment was recruited by conscripts from 
Camp Holmes, which swelled our ranks somewhat, and many 
of these men made good soldiers. Time moved on with its 
many changes, in men and other things. The Yankees often 
making desperate efforts to break our lines, but were as often 
repulsed, and sometimes with heavy loss. About 15 March, 
1865, Ransom's Brigade was relieved and sent about 
seven miles west of the city. Here we remained for a few 
days in some houses or huts that had been built by the army. 
About 24 March, at night, we were ordered to fall in 
ranks, not knowing what was going to happen next. We took 
up the line of march in the direction of Petersbuig, which 
place we reached after midnight. We were ordered to the 
place we had left but a few days before, at the iron bridge. 
It now became apparent that something had to be done. About 
one hour to day, the Twenty-fourth Regiment was ordered 
to mount the works and move as quietly as possible on the 
enemy's works. 

Moving on in the darkness we soon came in contact with 
the enemy's cJieveaux de freise fastened together Avith wire. 
Through this we so&n made an opening, and entered the works 
without firing a gun, the Yankees not expecting an assault. 
As we brought them out in their night clothes we. would send 
them to the rear. A moment later firing commenced to our 
right, but the enemy was so completely taken by surprise that 
their effort was but a feeble one, and we had their line for a 
mile or more. For some unknown cause the advantage we 

290 North Carolina Troops, 1861-'65. 

had then gained was thrown away, and we were permitted to 
quietly remain where we were until Grant moved a portion 
of his army from Hatcher's Run, some nine miles away. 

It was now 9 o'clock in the morning ; and when the Yan- 
kees came, they presented a sublibae scene in their long lines 
of blue. We prepared to receive them as they came; but 
soon yelling commenced to the right of Ransom's Brigade, 
and later they came in both front and rear and poured into 
us a heavy, enfilading fire, which was very destructive to our 
men. It was here that Lieutenant-Colonel Harris was severely 
wounded, and Major Love took command of the Twenty- 
fourth Regiment. We were now powerless to help ourselves, 
as the Yankees were closing in upon us from every quarter, 
and the order was given to fall back by companies, begin- 
ning on the left of the regiment ; but before the right compa- 
nies received the order the enemy had cut off all chances of 
retreat. The writer was present with Major Love at the 
head of the regiment when the Yankees came, and saw him 
wrest frdm the hands of a Yankee color-bearer his colors, but 
of course he was not allowed to keep them, for we were now 
prisoners, or ^.t least one-half of the men belonging to the two 
right companies were. We have never known the number 
killed and wounded in the Twenty-fourth in this engagement, 
but it was very heavy in both men and officers, as there was 
but a handful of men left under the command of Captain 

• to surrender at Five Forks, a week later. We 

believe, however, that the Twenty-fourth Regiment was repre- 
sented at Appomattox in the final surrender by our beloved 
commander, but by no organized command. Those of us 
taJsen prisoners were sent to Point Lookout, Md., and to John- 
son's Island, N. Y., where we remained until June, 1865. 

Thus closed the services to the "Lost Cause" of one of the 
best regiments that the Old North State furnished during the 
late war. 

W. K Rose, Je. 


9 April, 1901. 

1. T. L. Clingman, Colonel. 4. James A. Blalock, Captain, Co. F. 

8. Henry M. Butledge, Colonel. 5. James M. Cathey, Captain, Co. F. 

3. T. D. Bryson, Captain, Co. B. 6. W. Pinck Welch, 1st Lieut., Co. C. 

7. J. C. L. Gudger, 1st Lieut, and Adjutant. 


By garland S. FERGUSON, Second Lieutenant Company F. 

In May, 1861, the companies which were to form the Twen- 
ty-fifth Regiment began to organize in Western North Caro- 
lina and to assemble in Camp Patton at Asheville. As each 
successive company took its position in camp the guard line 
was extended and the civilian began to do duty and learn the 
step and manoeuvers of the soldier. By 15 August, ten com- 
panies, the requisite number, were in camp and the regiment 
was organized, the field ofiicers being elected by the votes of 
the commissioned officers of the companies. 

Hon. Thomas L. Clingmajst, Colonel, who for years had 
represented the mountain district in the Congress of the 
United States, and who had resigned his seat in the United 
States Senate — afterwards Brigadier-General. 

St. Claib Deaeing, Lieutenant-Colonel, who had resigned 
his position in the United States Army — later Brigadier-Gen- 

Hektey M. EutlegEj Major, a boyish-looking young man 
of 22, with military education and bearing. 

W. ]Sr. Feeeman, was appointed Adjutant. 

W. H. Beysow^ Quartermaster. 

John W. Walkee, Commissary. 

De. S. S. Satchwell^ Surgeon. 

De. G. W. Fletchee, Assistant Surgeon. 

J. C. L. Gudgee^ Sergeant-Major. 

Clinton A. JoneSj Quartermaster Sergeant. 

Julius M. Toung^ Commissary Sergeant. 

Petee M. EicHj Drum Major. 

The companies composing the regiment were : 

Com f ANY A — From Henderson County, conmianded by 

292 North Carolina Troops, 1861-'65. 

Captain Baylis M. Edney, who was killed in 1863, and after- 
wards by Captain Matthew H. Love, who was promoted to 
Major and Lieutenant-Colonel; Captain John Plumby, 
who was killed at Five Forks. 

Company B — From Jackson County, commanded by Cap- 
tain Thaddeus D. Bryson, and afterwards by Captain David 

Company C — ^From Haywood County, commanded by 
Captain Sam C. Bryson, who was promoted Major, Lieuten- 
ant-Colonel, wounded at Eraser's Farm in front of Peters- 
burg on the night of lY June, 1864, resigned, and afterwards 
by Captain W. IST. Freeman. 

Company D — From Cherokee County, commanded by 
Captain John W. Francis, who was promoted Major, wounded 
at Malvern Hill, resigned, and afterwards comtaianded by 
Captain Lee B. Tatham. 

Company E — From Transylvania County, commanded by 
Captain Francis W. Johnston, afterwards by Captain Wm. 
W. Graves, who was killed in front of Petersburg, then by 
Captain Charles L. Osborne. 

Company F — From Haywood County, commanded by 
Captain Thomas I. Lenoir, afterwards by Captain James M. 
Cathey, who was killed at the "Crater" in front of' Peters- 
burg on the 30th of June, 1864, then by Captain James A, 

Company G^ — From Athens, Georgia, Clay and Macon 
counties, North Carolina, commanded by Captain Wm. S. 
Grady, who was promoted Major and mortally wounded at 
the "Crater" 30 June, 1864, and afterwards by Captain John 
S. Hayes, then Captain John H. Phinisee. 

Company H — From Buncombe and Henderson counties, 
commanded by Captain Frederick Blake, and afterwards by 
Captain Solomon Cunningham, who was killed at Fredericks- 
burg 13 December, 1862, then by Captain Thomas J. Young. 

Company I — From Buncombe County, commanded by 
Captain George W. Howell, afterwards by Captain W.. Y. 
Morgan, who was promoted Major, and then by Captain A. B. 

Company K — From Buncombe cotinty, commanded by 

Twenty-Fifth Regiment. 293 

Captain Charles M. Roberts, who was promoted Major of a 
battalion and killed by bush whackers while on detail duty in 
Madison County in 1864, and then commanded by Captain 
Jesse M. Burleyson. 

With the exception of a part of Company G, the regiment 
was composed of mountain men west of the Ridge, the Colo- 
nel was a politician and statesman ; the Lieutenant-Colonel a 
professional soldier; the Major a civilian with a military ed- 
ucation. There were but few slave owners in the regiment, 
90 per cent, of the men were farmers and farmer's sons, fully 
80 per cent, home owners, or the sons of farmers who owned 
their farms. With the exception of the Lieutenant-Colonel 
the survivors expected to return to the peaceful pursuits of 
life after the war should terminate. 

The majority of the men composing the regiment had been 
Union men until after President Lincoln's Proclamation, 
they then regarded their interests with the South and ac- 
knowledged their allegiance to the State. They had gone to 
war to defend their homes from invasion by an armed foe. 

The men had been accustomed to independence of thought 
and freedom of action and had elected for their company of- 
ficers their neighbors and companions and had no idea of 
giving up more of their personal liberty than should be nec- 
essary to make them effective soldiers — obedient on duty, in- 
dependent off — this spirit, they in a marked degree, retained 
to the close of the war, and it was this which made them the 
pride of their General in battle and sometimes gave him an- 
noyance in camp. Under the mild discipline of the Colonel 
and skillful training and accurate drill of the LieutenanlhCol- 
onel and Major, the regiment was soon thoroughhly drilled 
and disciplined, on duty. On 18 September the reg- 
iment marched from Asheville to Icard Station below Mor- 
ganton, the nearest railroad point; the majority of the regi- 
ment had never seen a steam engine or a railroad. It stopped 
a day or two in Raleigh and drew uniforms and reached Wil- 
mington 29 September and went into camp at Mitch- 
ell's Sound. Here the regiment had arms, muskets, 
distributed to it. In ISTovember it was sent to the coast de- 
fence of South Carolina and camped near Grahamville most 

294 North Carolina Troops, 1861-65. 

of the winter, doing picket duty, drilling and building fortifi- 
cations. 14 March, 1862, the regiment left Grahamville for 
ISTew Bern, N. 0., but before reaching that point the city had 
been taken and the regiment met the retreating Confederate 
troops at Kinston, where it went into camp and remained 
until after the reo-rganization, being attached to the bri- 
gade commanded by General Robert Ransom, which consisted 
of the Twenty-fourth, Twenty-fifth, Twenty-sixth, Thirty- 
fifth and Forty-ninth North Carolina Regiments. At the re- 
organization Clingman was re-electel Colonel, Lieuten- 
ant-Colonel Dearing being a professional soldier ob- 
jected to again taking a second place in the regi- 
ment and retired from the command. Major Rutledge 
was elected Lieutenant-Colonel and Captain S. C. Bry- 
son of Company C, elected Major. Colonel Clingman was 
soon promoted Brigadier-General, Rutledge to Colonel ; Bry- 
son to Lieutenant-Colonel, and Captain Francis of Company 
D, to Major. 

On 24 June, 1862, the regiment reached Richmond, 
Va., as a part of General Robert Ransom's brigade; 
by sunrise of the 25th it was on the march towards the front 
and to join the division of General Huger, which was then en- 
gaged at Seven Pines on the Williamsburg road. There was 
heavy firing of artillery and musketry in front. It had at 
last come in hearing of the true music of war. About one-half 
mile from the line the regiment was ordered to double quick. 
It was thrown in line on the immediate left of the Williams- 
burg road, and when within range of the enemy the regi- 
ment halted, the front rank at the command fired and fell to 
the ground, the rear rank fired over theln, then with bayo- 
nets fixed we raised the rebel yell and charged ; the enemy 
gave way and the ground which had been lost in the morning 
was retaken. The enemy opened a heavy fire of musketry 
and three times tried, without effect, to retake their lines. At 
6 o'clock p. m. a heavy fire of grape was opened on the regi- 
ment without demoralizing or moving it. It was relieved at 
dark. Major-General Huger in his report of this battle 
says: "The Twenty-fifth Regiment (Colonel H. M. Rut- 
ledge) was pushed to the left of the Williamsburg road, 

Twenty-Fifth Regiment. 295 

where the enemy had advanced, and drove them back in gal- 
lant style." The loss of the regiment was two killed and forty 
wounded. Private B. B. Edmondson was promoted to Ad- 
jutant of the regiment for gallantry on the field. General Rob- 
ert Ransom commended, in his report of the engagement, the 
officers and men of the regiment. 

The regiment was on several occasions, during the suc- 
ceeding days, under fire. On 2 July at Malvern Hill late 
in the evening it made a charge, but for want of sup- 
port and on account of a galling fire, it was ordered back, and 
with other regiments of the brigade, was reformed under 
cover by General Robert Ransom, and again advanced to 
within one hundred yards of the enemy's guns and line, when 
the men raised a yell and charged in the face of a perfect 
sheet of fire from musketry and artillery, without wavering, 
to within twenty yards of the enemy's guns, some going even 
nearer. At this point General Ransom discovered that he 
was not supported and that the enemy were heavily massed, 
very greatly outnumbering his men. Unwilling to sacrifice 
his men in a hopeless charge and dark coming on he withdrew 
from the attack. In his report of the battle he speaks in the 
highest terms of praise of the conduct of the officers and men, 
commending especially the courage and coolness of Colonel 
Rutledge and Major Francis. The Colonel was stunned by a 
bursting shell and the Major wounded. The regiment's loss 
was ninety-three in killed and wounded. After the battle of 
Malvern Hill General Ransom had full confidence in the 
fighting qualities of the Twenty-fifth Regiment, and the men 
of the regiment .had full confidence in him as a careful, cour- 
ageous and skillful leader in battle. It was only in camp 
and on the march that any difl^erence existed between the men 
and their General; this existence amounted to positive dis- 
like, in some instances hate. The men of the Twenty-fifth 
Regiment would not have exchanged General Robert Ran- 
som as a leader in battle for any General in the Army of 
Northern Virginia. His mastery of military tactics, cool- 
ness on the field, and judgment of ground enabled him to 
place his men in action with great rapidity and comparative 
safety, xmtil they were ready to do execution. If he had un- 

296 NoETH Carolina Troops, 186] -'65. 

derstood volunteer soldiers and realized that four-fifths of the 
men in ranks were as careful of their personal honor, and as 
anxious for the success of the cause as he, he would have 
been one of the gi-eatest generals in Lee's army, was the opin- 
ion of some, and is still the opinion of the writer. After Mal- 
vern Hill the regiment went into camp for a time at Drewry's 
Bluff. It was here, in consequence of the exposure just gone 
through, that army sickness first made its telling effect on the 
regiment, the loss by death from sickness being eighty-one. 
About this time the Twenty-sixth Regiment was taken out of 
our brigade and later the Fifty-sixth Eegiment was assigned 
us in its place. 

The regiment, with the brigade, was attached to Walker's 
Division in the Maryland campaign, and at Harper's Ferry 
was placed to gviard Loudon Heights to prevent the escape of 
the enemy. When it was first made known to the men 
by General Lee's order that the army was to cross the Poto- 
mac there was a considerable murmur of disappointment in 
ranks. The men said thej^ had volunteered to resist invasion 
and not to invade, some did not believe it right to invade 
Northern territory, others thought that the same cause that 
brought the Southern army to the front would increase the 
jSTorthern army, still others thought the war should be car- 
ried into the North; thus the men thought, talked and disa- 
greed. This was the first dissension among the men of the 
regiment, but all were united in their confidence and love 
for Lee. 

At Sharpsburg the regiment was put into action near the 
extreme left of Lee's line. Our troops were retreating in 
front of a determined charge of the enemy, the men passed 
through the retreating troops, raised the yell, and charged 
with a determination that drove the enemy from the field 
to cover of his heavy works. 

Camping equij^ments had been left behind at Richmond, 
and frequently on the march the men had to resort to ram- 
rods for baking purposes and forked sticks for the roast; 
blankets and change of clothing had been left at Sharpsburg, 
and when the men recrossed the Potomac they were without 
blankets and bare of clothing, this was late in September and 


J. S. J. SheltoD, 1st Lieut., Co. C. 3. J. T. Cathey, 2d Lieut., Co. F. 

2. W. H Hartgrove. 1st Lieut., Co. F. 4. Garland S. Ferguson, 8<1 Lieut., Co.F 

5. John W. Norwood, 1st Sergeant, Co. C. 

Twenty-Fifth Regiment. 297 

the regiment did not receive new blankets till some time in 
October. The beds were room}' but cool. 

After remaining in the Shenandoah Valley for some time 
the regiment marched to Madison Court House, where it 
bivouaced and there drew a stipply of clothing and blankets, 
then marched to Fredericksburg. The winter at Fredericks- 
burg was cold, but sh^ters were made of pine brush, log fires 
built in front, and with an additional supply of blankets and 
clothing, which most men received from home, the men were 
fairly comfortable. 

On 11 and 12 December, 1862, the regiment was 
in position back of Marye's House. About 11 o'clock 
on the morning of the 13th, General Robert Ransom informed 
the regiment that General Cobb's men who were holding ovir 
line in front of Marye's House, were short of ammunition 
and must be reinforced, and that the xmdertaking was a dan- 
gerous one; the men fully understanding the importance and 
danger of the duty, moved forward with a firm and steady 
step, like patriots, to battle. On reaching the crest of the 
hill (the regiment having been divided so as to pass the house 
on either side) it met a fearful fire from the enemy two hun- 
dred yards off. In casting an eye along the line men could be 
seen falling like sheaves before the sickle. In less than two 
minutes the regiment's loss in killed and wounded was one 
hundred and twenty. It reached Cobb's line just as his men 
were emptying their last cartridge, and held the line, repell- 
ing six successive assaults, until relieved at nightfall. 

During the spring of 1863 the regiment was stationed 
at Kenansville, Wilmington, and other places in North 
Carolina. The fall and winter of 1863 the regiment was sta- 
tioned at Garysburg, from which place it made several ex- 
cursions to check the advances of the enemy on the coast of 
ISTorth Carolina, but did not see much hard service until the 
spring of 1864. In October, 1863, a detachment of the regi- 
ment under Lieutenant-Colonel Bryson, had an engagement 
at Hot Springs, in Madison County, North Carolina. The 
enemy outnumbered them twenty to one, and the loss of the 
detachment in killed and wounded was heavy, including Lieu- 
tenant Hyatt, of Company F, who was killed on the field. 

298 North Carolina Troops, 1861-65. 

In April, 1864, the regiment participated in the assault 
and capture of Plymouth, IST. C. 

During the Virginia and Maryland campaigns, Colonel 
Eutledge had so endeared himself to the non-commissioned of- 
ficers and privates of his regiment, by his courage and kind- 
ness, that they presented him a fine saddle horse, not allowing 
the commissioned ofiicers to bear any part of the expense or 
take any part in the presentation ceremonies. 

General Robert Hansom was promoted Major-General June 

1863, and Colonel Matthew W. Eansom, of the Thirty-fifth, 
was promoted to Brigadier-General and assigned to the com- 
mand of the brigade. General Matthew Ransom was a law- 
yer, very handsome in appearance, of undoubted courage and 
knew the temper of volunteer soldiers. The men of the regi- 
ment loved him and trusted him. 

The regiment was engaged at Drewry's Bluff 12 May, 

1864, in which engagement Company F lost Lieutenant 
Ebed J. Ferguson, killed, and six non-commissioned officers 
and privates wounded; and participated in the engagements 
at Ware Bottom Church and Bermuda Hundred. 

On 16 June, 1864, the regiment crossed to the South of 
the Appomattox for the defence of Petersburg and entered at 
once into the fight in front of Avery's House, and checked the 
advance of the enemy who was driving back the Petersburg 
militia, the only protection to the city at that time. On the 
night of the 17th the regiment participated in the engagement 
at Avery's Farm, and drove the enemy from their breastworks 
at the point where the Twenty-fifth made its attack. 

From 16 June, 1864, until.April, 1865, the regiment was 
constantly under fire, with the exception of about ten days 
in March, occupying the trenches in front of Petersburg. 
The position of the regiment on 30 June, 1864, 
was on the right of Ransom's brigade and to the 
left of Elliott's South Carolina brigade. The explosion of 
Grant's Mine (the "Crater") was in the line occupied by the 
left regiment of the South Carolina brigade. Immediately 
after the explosion the Twenty-fifth regiment, then number- 
ing about two hundred and fifty men moved from the trenches 
and formed a new line in the rear of the trenches occupied by 

Twenty-Fifth Regiment. 299 

the South Carolinians, which had been taken at the time of 
the explosion and which were then occupied by the enemy. The 
regiment, with a remnant of the Sixth South Carolina, was the 
only force between the enemy and the city, at that point. 
The enemy massed his troops in our trenches in front of us 
until he had sixteen regimental flags in our works. He made 
several attempts to move forward and force our line, but 
was successfully repulsed and held in check for several hours, 
until reinforcements arrived. The regiment led Mahone's 
men in the charge which retook the works. In retaking the 
works the fight was hand to hand, with guns, bayonets, and 
swords, in fact anything a man could fight with. One six- 
teen year old boy had his gun knocked out of his hands and 
picked up a cartridge box and fought with that. Major 
Grady, who commanded the regiment, was mortally wounded 
and Captain Jas. M. Cathey, of Company F, killed. 

On 21 August, 1864, the regiment participated in the 
battle of the Weldon Railroad, between Petersburg and 
Reams' Station. The enemy had entrenched himself behind 
heavy earthworks and had felled the timber in front, crossing 
the laps of the trees and sharpening the limbs. In order 
to reach their works the timber had to be removed so as to 
make a passway for the men. During this time the enemy 
kept up a constant fire until our men reached the works. The 
color-bearer of the regiment was shot down and Sergeant 
J. B. Hawkins, of Company C, caught the colors, rushed for- 
ward and placed them on the works. The works were taken 
and the enemy driven back under cover of his heavy artillery. 
The loss of the regiment was heavy in killed and wounded. 
Lieutenant Garland S. Ferguson, of Company F, was 
wounded in the right shoulder, but did not quit the field. 

On 25 March, 1865, a detail of ten men from each 
regiment of Ransom's brigade, under Lieu.tenant Burch, was 
placed in charge of Lieutenant J. B. Hawkins, of Company 
C, Twenty-fifth regiment, who received his orders from Gen- 
eral Robert Ransom in these words: "I order you to take 
Fort Steadman, not attack it." Lieutenant Hawkins quietly 
executed this order and had the fort in possession without the 
firing of a gun. 

300 North Carolina Troops, 1861-'65. 

The Twenty-fifth was moved forward to the left of Fort 
Steadman and nearly in front of the position it had occupied 
in the ditches through the winter ; drove in the enemy's pick- 
ets, took their first works and held them. The fort of the 
enemy in the field on the left was not taken, and the enemy 
from that point poured a fearfnl enfilading fire into the 
regimBnt. Several unsuccessful efforts were made from the 
front to dislodge the regiment. After the enemy retook Fort 
Steadman and was advancing in front and while the regiment 
was suffering the effects of an enfilading fire from the left, the 
Colonel walked along the line of his regiment with his cap on 
sword, shouting to his men, "Don't let them take our front, 
Twenty-fifth, the Twenty-fifth has never had her front 
taken." At this time orders were received from General G-or- 
don to fall back to our line of works. The loss of the regi- 
ment was hfeavy. A number of commissioned ofiicers were 
severely wounded, including Lieutenant Garland S. Fergu- 
son, whose left thigh was broken ; many non-commissioned of- 
ficers and privates were killed and wounded. 

After Steadman the regiment moved to the right, marching 
and fighting ; the principal battles in which it was engaged 
were at Amelia Court .House, and Five Forks. I can do no 
better in giving the description of the battle of Five Forks 
than to do so in the language of the gallant and beloved Colo- 
nel of the regiment. He says : "At Five Forks I was more 
proud of the regiment than I had ever been before, and that 
is saying a great deal. I have thought of them and com- 
pared them to the 'Stonewall' of Manassas. They were sur- 
rounded on three sides by -many times their own numbers, 
but there they stood, a solid mass of mountain men, 
broad sides from the enemy being poured into them, and there 
they stood like the rock of Gibraltar. When I remember 
that heroic scene, I cannot fail to compare that gallant com- 
pany, desperate band, to the line the Great Napoleon saw at 
Waterloo. Speaking afterwards of the English line of bat- 
tle, he says : 'I covered them with artillery, I fiooded them 
with infantry, I deluged them with cavalry, but when the 
smoke of battle rose, there stood the red line yet.' Yes, there 
stood the gray line, the only line that stood that day, that I 

Twenty-Fifth Regiment. 301 

saw, and finally, after combating five different and separate 
times over the same field, pine thickets, broom grass, old 
fields, all sorts of a place, I was going to win. I was attempt- 
ing to whip the enemy with the Twenty-fifth North Caro- 
lina, and I knew I could do it. I thought I was getting along 
finely, until I happened to look to front, left and right, and 
saw we were surrounded with but a small loop hole to get 
through. We backed through that, emptying into their faces 
the last cartridge we had." 

The regiment's loss from its enlistment to the surrender 
was: Killed in battle, 220; died from disease, 280, and 470 
were wounded, of which last number 140 were wounded 
more than once. 

When General Lee's order to surrender was received, the 
Twenty-fifth regiment still had its flag. It was furled, and 
taken down in obedience to the order, but the color-sergeant 
concealed it on his person, returned with it home and gave it 
to his captain, and it was destroyed by a fire when Captain 
Freeman's house was burned. 

I omitted to state that Dr. F. N. Luckey was made surgeon 
of the regiment in 1862, in place of Dr. Satchwell, who was 
assigned to hospital duty, and Serge ant-Major J. C. L. 
Gudger was promoted Adjutant in 1864, to fill the vacancy 
caused by the resignation of Adjutant Edmondston. 

Captain H. A. Boone succeeded Captain T. D. Bryson in 
command of Company B. Captain Boone was murdered on 
the streets of Murphy by the celebrated outlaw. Morrow, af- 
ter the close of the war. 

Garland S. FeegusoNj 
Waynesville, N. 0., 

9 April, 1901. 


1. Zebulon B. Vance, Colonel. 

8. Harry K. Burgwyn. Colonel. 

3. John R. Lane, Colonel. 

4. J. T. Jones, Lieut-Colonel. 

5. N. P. Rankin, Major. 

6. Thomas J. Boykin, Surgeon. 

7. J. J. Young, Captain and Asst. Q. M. 

8. James B. Jordan, 1st Lieut, and Adjt. 



" Vi-xere fortes ante agamemnona multi; sed omnes illacrimabUes. urgentur 
ignotique longa node, carent quia vote sacro. Paulum sepultx distat inertise 
celata virtus." 


The regiment was mobilized at the Camp of Instruction 
at "Crab Tree," about three miles from Ealeigh, IST. 0. At 
this Camp, during the months of July and August, 1861, 
were assembled ten companies from the counties of Alamance, 
Anson, Ashe, Caldwell, Chatham, Moore, Eandolph, Union, 
Wake, and Wilkes. These companies were organized before 
leaving home, and on arrival at Camp of Instruction, reported 
as follows : 

1. — Jeff Davis Mountaineers, Ashe County ; Captain, An- 
drew ]Sr. McMillan; Eirst Lieutenant, George K. Eeeves; 
Second Lieutenant, Jesse A. Eeeves ; Junior Second Lieuten- 
ant, James Porter. 

2. — Waxhaw Jackson Guards, Union County ; Captain, J. 
J. C. Steele; First Lieutenant, William Wilson; Second 
Lieutenant, Taylor G. Cureton; Junior Second Lieutenant, 
John W. Eichardson. 

3. — ^Wilkes Volunteers, Wilkes County ; Captain Abner E. 
Carmichael ; First Lieutenant, Augustus H. Horton ; Second 
Lieutenant, Phineas Horton ; Junior Second Lieutenant, Wil- 
liam W. Hampton. 

4. — ^Wake Guards, Wake County; Captain, Oscar E. 
Eand ; First Lieutenant, James B. Jordan ; Second Lieuten- 
ant James T. Adams ; Junior Second Lieutenant, James W. 

5. — Independent Guards, Chatham County; Captain, W. 

304 North Carolina Troops, 1861 -'65. 

S. Webster; First Lieutenant, William J. Headen; Second 
Lieutenant, Bryant 0. Dunlap; Junior Second Lieutenant, 
S. W. Brewer. 

6. — Hibriten Guards, Caldwell County; Captain, Nathan- 
iel P. Rankin ; First Lieutenant, Joseph E. Ballew ; Second 
Lieutenant, John B. HoUoway; Junior Second Lieutenant, 
Alfred T. Stewart. 

Y. — Chatham Boys, Chatham County; Captain, William 
S. McLean; First Lieutenant, John E. Matthews; Second 
Lieutenant, George C. Underwood; Junior Second Lieuten- 
ant, Henry C. Albright. 

8. — Moore Independents, Moore County; Captain, William 
P. Martin ; First Lieutenant, Clement Dowd ; Second Lieu- 
tenant, James D. Mclver ; Junior Second Lieutenant, Robert 
W. Goldston. 

9. — Caldwell Guards, Caldwell County; Captain, Wilson 
S. White; First Lieutenant, John Carson; Second Lieuten- 
ant, John T. Jones; Junior Second Lieutenant, Milton P. 

10. — Pee Dee Wild Cats, Anson County; Captain, James 
C. Carraway; First Lieutenant, James S. Kendall; Second 
Lieutenant, John C. McLauchlin; Junior Second Lieuten- 
ant, William C. Boggan. 

The commandant of the Camp of Instruction at Crab Tree 
was Major Harry King Burgwyn, Jr., not twenty-one years 
of age, who had graduated at the Virginia Military Institute 
in May previous. 

The Adjutant of the Camp was Oliver Cromwell Petway, 
also a cadet at the Virginia Military Academy in 1860-1861, 
subsequently Lieutenant-Colonel of the Thirty-fifth North 
Cal-olina Regiment, and killed at Malvern Hill 1 July, 1862. 

Of this young commandant, Corporal John R. Lane, Com- 
pany G, subsequently rising by his military talents to 
the Colonelcy of the regiment, gives his first impressions as 
follows : "We took the train at Company Shops (now Bur- 
lington) for Raleigh; arriving at this place, the company 
marched out to Camp Crab Tree, a Camp of Instruction, and 
were assigned our position in camp a little after dark. On 
the next morning when we awoke, we saw the sentinels at 

Twenty-Sixth Regiment. 305 

their posts and realized that we were indeed in the war. Im- 
mediately after roll call — but there was no roll call in our 
company — Major li. K. Burgwyn, commander of the Camp 
of Instruction, sent down to Captain W. S. McLean, demand- 
ing the reason for his failure to report his company. 

Before the excitement occasioned by his message had sub- 
sided among the commissioned ofScers, an order came for a 
corporal and two men to report at once at headquarters. Cap- 
tain McLean selected Corporal Lane, his lowest subaltern of- 
ficer, and two of the most soldierly-looking men, S. S. Car- 
ter and W. G. Carter, to report to Major Burgwyn. 

Accordingly, these three worthies appeared before the com- 
mandant, wondering whether they were going to be promoted, 
hanged or shot. This was our first sight of the commanding 
officer, who appeared though young, to be a youth of author- 
ity, beautiful and handsome; the flash of his eye and the 
quickness of his movements betokened his liravery. At first 
sight I both feared and admired him. He gave us the fol- 
lowing order: "Corporal, take these men and thoroughly 
police this Camp ; don't leave a watermelon rind or anything 
filthy in Camp." 

This cheering order completely knocked the starch out of 
our shirts and helped greatly to settle us down to a soldier's 
life. The cleanliness of the camp was reported by the officer 
of the day as being perfect. You may be sure our officers re- 
ported the company promptly after that. 


The companies composing the regiment were from the cen- 
tral and western coiinties of the State ; counties which had op- 
posed secession until the Proclamation of President Lincoln 
(April 15, 1861) calling upon Governor Ellis to furnish 
North Carolina's quota of seventy-five thousand volunteers 
to coerce the seceding Southern States. 

After being drilled and otherwise disciplined, these ten 
companies were organized into a regiment designated as the 


306 North Carolina Troops, 1861-65. 

Twenty-sixth North Carolina Troops (Infantry) and the 
companies took rank as follows : 

Captain McMillan's Company, from Ashe County, as 
Company A. 

Captain Steele's Company, from Union County, as 
Company B. 

Captain Caemighael's Company, from Wilkes County, 
as Company C. 

Captain Rand's Company, from Wake County, as Com- 
pany D. 

Captain Webster's Company, from Chatham County, as 
Company E. 

Captain Rankin's Company, from Caldwell County, as 
Company F. 

Captain McLean's Company, from Chatham County, as 
Company G. 

Captain Martin's Company, from Moore County, as 
Company H. 

Captain White's Company, from Caldwell County, as 
Company I. 

Captain Caeea way's Company, from Anson County, as 
Company K. 

The company officers completed the regimental organiza- 
tion by electing as Colonel, Captain Zehulon B. Vance, then 
Captain of the "Rough and Ready Guards" from Buncombe 
County, in the Fourteenth North Carolina Troops ; as Lieu- 
tenant-Colonel, Major Harry K. Burgwyn, Jr., commandant 
of the camp; and as Major, Captain Abner B. Carmichael, 
of Company C. 

Colonel Vance subsequently appointed First Lieutenant 
James B. Jordan, of Company D, Adjutant ; Sergeant Joseph 
J. Young, of Company D, Quartermaster ; Lieutenant Robert 
Goldaton, of Company H, Commissary, who died at Carolina 
City October, 1861 ; Dr. Thomas J. Boykin, of Sampson 
County, Surgeon; and Private Daniel M. Shaw, Company 
H, Assistant Surgeon. 

Rev. Robert H. Marsh, of Chatham County, since so widely 

Twenty-Sixth Regiment. 307 

known as an eloquent preacher of the Baptist persuasion, 
was appointed Chaplain. The commissions of the officers 
tore date 27 August, 1861. First Lieutenant A. H. ITorton, 
of Company C, was promoted Captain vice Carmichael, 
elected Major. The non-commissioned staff were: 

L. L. Polk, Sergeant-Ma j or, of Company K. 
Benjamin ITind^ Hospital Steward, of Company ~K. 
E. H. HoBNADAYj Ordnance Sergeant, of Company E. 
Jesse Feeguson, Commissary Sergeant, of Company C. 
Abbam J. Lanb^ Quartermaster Sergeant, of Company G. 


Promptly on its organization the regiment was ordered to 
the defence of Fort ii aeon, on Bogue Island. Leaving Ral- 
eigh on the 2d of September, 1861, under command of Lieu- 
tenant-Colonel Burgwyn, (Colonel Vance not having as yet 
reported for duty) , the regiment, halting a few days at More- 
head City, took up its permanent camp near Fort Macon — • 
at which place Colonel Vance assumed command. The 
months of September, October and ISTovember, 1861, were 
passed at this place. The time was occupied in guard 
duties, drilling and preparing for the arduous duties that lay 
before them. 

Occasionally, upon rumor that the enemy were landing, 
the long roll would be sounded, and the regiment drawn up in 
line. There was great sickness among the soldiers. An en- 
demic of measles and fever prevailed. A hospital was estab- 
lished at Carolina City on the mainland, three miles west of 
Morehead City — Commissary Goldston, Assistant Surgeon 
Shaw, Lieutenant John E. Matthews and many privates died 
in a short while. Nine men from one Company died in a 
week. Supplies had to be brought across the Sound, and the 
water being shallow, the men had to wade quite a distance to 
get to the vessels bringing the rations. 

The regimental officers were incessant in their attentions to 
their men, showing them every kindness, providing every 
comfort possible, and became much endeared to those under 
their authority. When time came to go into winter quar- 

308 North Carolina Troops, 186r-'65. 

ters, the regiment was moved to the mainland and camped 
midway between Morehead and Carolina Cities. While in 
this camp, Captain McLean, of Company Gr, was appointed 
Acting Assistant Surgeon, and Corporal John K. Lane elected 
Captain of the Company. 

The winter of 1861-1862 was passed in unremitting drill 
and under strict measures of discipline,, which got the regi- 
ment into fine condition' for the opening campaign; and here 
they acquired a reputation for efficiency in drill and obedi- 
ence to orders which they retained with increasing credit until 
the final surrender 

In October, 1861, General D. H. Hill was appointed to the 
command of the District of Pamlico, to be succeeded in No- 
vember by Brigadier-General L. O'B. Branch. After the fall 
of Eoanoke Island (10 February, 1862) and in view of the 
threatened attack on New Bern by General Burnside, the reg- 
iment was ordered up the railroad within three miles of New 
Bern, and there went into bivouac and assigned to Branch's 
command, which as then constituted, was composed of the 
Seventh, Twenty-sixth, Twenty-seventh, Thirty-third, Thir- 
ty-fifth and Thirty-seventh North Carolina Regiments, In- 
fantry, and Latham's and Brem's Batteries of artillery. Colo- 
nel Spruill's Second Cavalry (Nineteenth North Carolina), 
a battalion of militia under Colonel H. J. B. Clark, and some 
detached companies. Brigadier-General R. C. Gatlin com- 
manding the Department of North Carolina and coast de- 
fenses, headquarters at Goldsboro, was in supreme command. 

BATTLE OF NEW BEEN, N. 0. 14 MARCH, 1862. 

General Ambrose E. Burnside flushed with his captures of 
Fort Hatteras (29 August, 1861) and Eoanoke Island (If) 
February, 1862) was now about to attempt still greater move- 
ments on the military chess boajd, and on 11 March, 1862 
he embarked the brigades of Foster, Bono and Parke aad 
accompanying artillery, at Eoanoke Island and reached Slo- 
cum's Creek where it empties into the Neuse river, some six- 
teen miles from New Bern, on the evening of the 12th. Early 
next morning, after shelling the country around, General 
Burnside disembarked his command, and ordered Foster's 

Ted era I 

1 .J77i«JffaXtory t^&tv £fJ'4fil 

Y ^5anft>gwffi»aiis;y 

Twenty-Sixth Regiment. 309 

Brigade to advance up the county road, and attack our front 
and left ; Reno's Brigade to march up the railroad with orders 
to turn our right; and Parke's Brigade to follow along the 
county road at convenient distance as a support either to Fos- 
ter or Reno as there might be need. 

General Burnside's advance appears to have met no oppo- 
sition ; the Croatan breastworks above Otter Greek he found 
abandoned, and at night his entire command bivouacked in 
easy striking distance of the Confederate lines of defence, 
which we will now describe. 

About five miles below New Bern on the right bank of the 
!N"euse River the Gonfederates had constructed a strong fort, 
called "Fort Thompson," manned by thirteen siege guns of 
good size, stipported by ten field pieces, with three navy 32- 
pounders on its rear face. 

From the fort in a straight line to the railroad leading 
from New Bern to Morehead City, was the main line of de- 
fense, consisting of a strong breastwork about one and one- 
quarter miles in length. 

Through the centre of these breastworks the Beaufort 
County road leading to New Bern passed, and intersected the 
railroad about two miles behind the works ; thence crossed the 
Trent river on a wooden bridge about a mile and a half above 
New Bern. Where the breastworks met the railroad there 
was a brick kiln, and this proved to be the cause of all our 
woes in this battle. Instead of continuing the breastworks 
straight across the railroad into the swamp beyond, to make 
the line as short as possible after reaching the railroad, the 
line was thrown back abou.t 15U yards to the banks of BuUen's 
Creek and thence, a series of small breastworks conforming 
to the features of the ground, ran off in the direction of a 
swamp. To guard this gap of 150 yards in which was this 
brick kiln plant, General Branch ordered the brick kiln to be 
loopholed; and the evening before the battle, had ordered 
down two 24-pounder guns which were being mounted when 
the party was fired into in the beginning of the action and 
the work was stopped never to be resumed. The timber in 
front of the breastworks had been felled for some 350 yards. 

General Branch's disposition of his troops had to be made 

310 North Carolina Troops, 1861-'65. 

with great rapidity, as the enemy left him no time for delay. 
At 4 p. m. on the 12th of March, General Branch was notified 
of the enemy's approach. He ordered Colonel Sinclair, of 
the Thirty-fifth JSTorth Carolina Regiment, to proceed to 
Fisher's landing, just above the mouth of Otter Creek, to re' 
sist any attempt of the enemy to land. Late in the night 
he ordered the Twenty-sixth Worth Carolina Regiment and 
Brem's Battery, Lieutenant-Colonel Burgwyn in command, to 
follow. Colonel Vance being temporarily in command of the 
Post of New Bern. These troops arrived to find the enemy 
had anticipated them by occupying this ground, so the two 
regiments fell back to take their places in the main line for 
the next day's battle. 

General Branch divided his forces that were to defend the 
works on the left of the railroad, namely, between the rail- 
road and Fort Thompson, into two wings to be commanded 
respectively by Colonel C. C. Lee, of the Thirty-seventh 
North Carolina Regiment, and Colonel Reuben P. Camp- 
bell, of the Seventh North Carolina Regiment. Colonel Lee's 
command embraced the troops between the fort and the county 
road, and was composed of the Twenty-seventh North Caro- 
lina Regiment and his own, the Thirty-seventh North Caro- 
lina Regiment; on the right of the county road reaching to 
the railroad constituted Colonel Campbell's command and 
was defended by his own regiment (the Seventh) ; the Thirty- 
fifth g.nd Captain Whitehurst's independent company, and 
on the right next to the railroad was placed the battalion of 
militia under command of Colonel H. J. B. Clark. Two sec- 
tions of Brem.'s and Latham's batteries of artillery were 
posted along this line between the county road and railroad, 
under Colonel Campbell's command. 

Colonel Vance, of the Twenty-sixth North Carolina Regi- 
ment, was in command of all the defences on the right of the 
railroad, comprising a distance of one and a quarter miles. 
His own regiment, one or two detached companies and a sec- 
tion of Brem's artillery, were the only troops at his disposal 
for this important defense. His line ran along the bank of 
BuUen's Creek for ahowt half a mile, until the creek emptied 
into a swamp ; beyond this swamp his line was extended to the 

Twenty-Sixth Regiment. 311 

Weathersby road leading to ISTew Bern ; and beyond this (on 
the right) was Bryce's Creek, a deep and impassable stream of 
about 75 yards wide, which empties into the Trent Biver. 
Shortly after the battle opened, the part of Governor Vance's 
line next to the railroad and under the immediate command 
of Major Carmichael, of the Twenty-sixth Eegiment, was re- 
inforced, first by five companies of Colonel Avery's Eegi- 
ment, the Thirty-third North Carolina, held in reserve ; and 
as the battle progressed and more determined became the at- 
tempt of the enemy to carry this position, the other five com- 
panies of the Thirty-third Regiment, under the gallant Colo- 
nel Avery and Lieutenant-Colonel- Robert F. Hoke, came to 
Major Carmichael's assistance. As will hereafter be seen, 
the enemy never succeeded in carrying the works on the right 
of the railroad. 

During the day of the 13th, the enemy kept up a brisk 
shelling from their gun boats, now in the l^euse, and keeping 
abreast of their land forces ; and by night had gocten his three 
brigades in position for the attack early the next morning. 
These were disposed as follows : General J. G. Foster formed 
his line across the county road parallel to the Confederate 
works, the Twenty-fifth and Twenty-fourth Massachusetts 
Regiments on the right, and the Twenty-seventh and Twenty- 
third Massachusetts on the left, supported by six navy howitz- 
ers and the howitzers of Captains Dayton and Bennett. 

General Jesse L. Reno formed his brigade on the left of the 
railroad in the following order, viz., the Twenty-first Massa- 
chusetts, Ninth New Jersey and Fifty-first Pennsylvania 
Regiments. General Parke's Brigade was drawn up in line 
in the intermediate space between General's Foster and Reno, 
with orders to support whichever brigade needed it. 

About 1 :30 a. m. the battle was opened by a shot from a 
Parrott gun from Latham's battery under Lieutenant Wood- 
btiry Wheeler. This shot dispersed a squad of horsemen who 
seemed to be reconnoitering under cover of the woods. Imme- 
diately after this, the firing became general. General Fos- 
ter's attacks on the main works in his front made but little, if 
any, impression; they were easily repulsed. Doubtless the 
enemy knew the weak points in the Confederate line of de- 

312 North Carolina Troops, 1861-65. 

fense. Immediately on getting his men into line, General 
Eeno ordered Lieutenant-Colonel W. S. Clark to charge with 
the right wing of his regiment, the Twenty-first Massachu- 
setts, and tate the brick kiln. 

Colonel Clark says in his report : "At the moment of our 
arrival at the Cut, the enemy were busily engaged in re- 
moving ammunition from the cars which had just come down 
from New Bern with re-enforcements. At the first volley 
from Company C the enemy in great astonishment, fled from 
the road and trench to a ravine in the rear of the brick yard. 
General Reno ordered Color-bearer Bates to plant his flag 
upon the roof of a building within the enemy's intrench- 
ments. General Reno, with Companies C, A, B, and H, of 
the right wing, dashed across the railroad up the steep bank 
and over the rifle trench on top into the brick yard. Here 
we were subjected to a most destructive cross fire from the 
enemy on both sides of the railroad and lost a large number 
of men in a very few minutes. The General supposing he 
had completely flanked the enemy's works, returned across 
the road touring up the rest of his brigade; but just at this 
time a tremendous fire of nmsketry and artillery was opened 
from the redoubts hitherto unseen, which were nine in nu.m- 
ber, extending from the railroad more than a mile to the 
right into the forest. 

"The General, now obliged to devote his attention to the 
enemy in front of his brigade, ordered the left wing of the 
Twenty-first Massachusetts not to cross the road, but to con- 
tinue to fire upon the enemy in the first two redovibts. These 
troops consisted of the Thirty-third North Carolina and the 
Twenty-sixth North Carolina Regiments, and were the best 
an led and fought the most gallantly of any of the enemy's 
forces ; their position was almost impregnable so long as their 
left flank resting on the railroad was defended. They kept 
up an incessant fire for three hours until their ammunition 
was exhausted, and the remainder of the rebel forces had re- 
treated from that portion of their works lying between the 
river and the railroad." 

Having quoted so freely from the Federal side, let us now 
see what was doing among the Confederates. It is seen. Gen- 

Twenty-Sixth Regiment. 313 

eral 'Branch had but one brigade to oppose three — but six reg- 
ments to oppose thirteen. These thirteen Federal regiments 
were in full ranks. The Twenty-iirst Massachusetts, of 
which we have been speaking, took into the battle 743 men. 
When Colonel Campbell was informed by Colonel Sinclair, 
"under much excitement," that the enemy had flanked him 
and were coming up the trenches which had been vacated by 
the militia, Colonel Campbell ordered Colonel Sinclair to 
leave the works and charge bayonets upon the advancing col- 
umns ; this Colonel Sinclair failed to do, and left the field in 
confusion. Colonel Campbell then ordered Lieutenant-Colo- 
nel Haywood to have his men, the Seventh IsTorth Carolina 
Regiment, leave the works and charge the enemy. This was 
done in handsome style, and the enemy were driven over the 
breastworks and the guns of Brem's Battery that had fallen 
into their hands, were retaken. This charge was so impetuous 
that the enemy largely magnified the number of men that 
made it. Says Colonel Clark, of the Twenty-first Massachu- 
setts Regiment, resuming our quotation from his report of the 
battle: "Having been ordered into the brick yard and left 
there with my colors and the four companies above mentioned, 
and finding it impossible to remain there without being cut to 
pieces, I was compelled either to charge upon Captain Brem's 
Battery of flying artillery or retreat. Accordingly, I formed 
my handful of men (about 200) in line, the right resting on 
the breastworks of the enemy, and commenced firing upon the 
men and horses of the first piece. Three men and two horses 
having fallen, I gave the order to charge bayonets and went 
to the first gun. Leaving this in the hands of Captain Wal- 
cott and Private John Dunn, of Company B, I proceeded to 
the second gun, about 300 paces from the brick yard. By this 
time the three regiments of the rebel infantry, who had re- 
treated from the breastworks to a ravine in the rear when we 
entered the brick yard, seeing that we were so few and re- 
ceived no support, rallied and advanced on us. The Thirty- 
fifth and Thirty-seventh ISTorth Carolina, supported by the 
Seventh North Carolina, came upon us from the ravine in 
splendid style, with their muskets at the right shoulder and 
halted. Most forttmately, or rather providentially, for us. 

314 North Carolina Troops, 1861-65. 

they remained undecided for a minute or two, and then re- 
solved on a movement v^hich saved us from destruction. In- 
stead of giving us a volley at once, they first hesitated, and 
then charged upon us vs^ithout firing. I instantly commanded 
my men to spring over the parapet and ditch in front, and to 
retreat to the railroad, keeping as close as possible to the ditch. 
On the railroad I found Colonel Rodman with the Fourth 
Rhode Island Regiment waiting for orders, and I urged him 
to advance at once and charge upon their flank, as I had 

Up to this point in the battle, everything had gone on sat- 
isfactorily for the Confederates on the right of the railroad. 
General Reno's attacks had been met and repulsed hand- 
somely. The Confederate line of defense on the right of the 
railroad as heretofore stated, consisted of rifle pits and de- 
tached intrenchments in the form of lunettes and redans along 
the bank of BuUen's Creek, and across the swamp to the 
Weathersby road, about one and one-quarter miles. A rifle 
pit near the railroad was occupied by Captain Oscar R. Rand, 
Avith his Company D, about 77 men ; by Company A, 68 men, 
and by 25 men from Company G, all under command of Ma- 
jor A. B. Carmichael, of the Twenty-sixth Regiment. Quot- 
ing from Captain Rand's account of the battle, written 
shortly after his capture and addressed to Colonel Z. B. 
Vance : 

"About 7 :30 a. m. the battle commenced on the left and for 
a time, extending from Fort Thompson along the whole line 
of the breastworks to the railroad, the roar of cannon and 
musketry was incessant. Within a few minutes after the 
battle had commenced, the enemy made his appearance on the 
right of the railroad directly in front of us. About one reg- 
iment (the left wing of the Twenty-first Massachusetts) took 
position between the railroad and BuUen's Creek, sheltering 
themselves in the woods and behind the logs, while the main 
body consisting of several regiments advanced under cover of 
the woods down the opposite side of the creek, occupying the 
heights and extending himself along ovlt right. 

"When the advance of the enemy had reached nearly oppo- 
site Major Carmichael's position, he gave the order to fire, 

Twenty-Sixth Regiment. 315 

and sent a volley full into the head of the advancing column. 
The enemy replied immediately and from this time to the 
close of the action, the j&ring never ceased. At first, the en- 
emy shooting very badly, their balls flying high above our 
heads and cutting the boughs from the tops of the trees in our 
rear, whereas our men, under direction of Major Oarmichael 
and other officers, took deliberate aim, sending death into their 
ranks. As soon as we were fairly engaged with this part of 
the enemy, the other part which held position between the 
railroad and the creek came up from under their cover and 
attempted to cross the railroad with a view to flank the main 
intrenchments and cut our lines in two. 

"No sooner was this attempted than it was discovered, and 
every gun ordered to bear upon them. One well directed 
volley scattered this force. Many a poor fellow fell here to 
rise no more, for they were well exposed. 

"Just at this time, about half an hour after the battle had 
commenced, Colonel Avery, who had been held in reserve, ar- 
rived with the Thirty-third regiment. He with four compa- 
nies entered the rifle pits occupied by us, while four other 
companies under Major Gaston Lewis, were ordered to occupy 
an advanced rifle pit nearest to the brick yard. This move- 
ment was attended with great danger, and was gallantly ex&- 
cuted. Major Lewis had to advance a space of 150 yards 
over fallen timber ; all the while exposed to the enemy's flre, 
and without being able to return it. He gained the position, 
however, and held it during the remainder of the action. 

"The battle now raged furiously ; the enemy throwing them- 
selves along our right so as to gain the point from which he 
could fire directly into our trenches, and Colonel Avery, ably 
seconded by Major Oarmichael, using every effort to prevent 
it. In this they were somewhat aided by the artillery and 
infantry, part of the Twenty-sixth Eegiment and two com- 
panies of the Thirty-third Regiment, under Lieutenant-Colo- 
nel Hoke — on the right of us, only two or three companies 
of which, however, were within range. The intention of the 
enemy was plain. They were to engage lis hotly on both 
wings, and then with a sufficient force can-y the railroad, 
which, when gained, would cut our lines in two and be equiv- 

316 North Carolina Troops, l861-'65. 

alent to flanking us right and left. No troops were at any 
time stationed along the line from the extreme left of the 
Twenty-sixth Eegimeht to the brick kilns, a distance of over 
200 yards, until Colonel Avery ordered Major Lewis with 
four companies of the Thirty-third Regiment, to occupy it. 
There were also no troops defending the line from the brick 
kiln to where the main breastworks touched the railroad, a 
distance of 200 yards or more. 

"The enemy now determined to carry this part of the line 
of our defence. What part the militia, who were stationed 
along the main breastworks nearest the railroad, and the 
Thirty-fifth Regiment, who were next to them, took in resist- 
ing this attempt, I cannot say. The brick kilns and other 
buildings excluded the view. These troops were certainly 
aear enough, and by a proper change of front could have 
thrown themselves upon the enemy and overwhelmed him. 

"The force attempting this point of our works, I do not be^ 
lieve to have been more than one regiment. (It was only the 
right wing of the Twenty-first Massachusetts Regiment) , and 
the main resistance he encountered came from the rifle pits 
occupied by Major Carmichael's and Major Lewis' com- 
mands. The enemy was held in check for some considerable 
time, but at last he succeeded and carried the railroad be- 
tween the brick kilns and the main breastworks and a part 
of his force passed in. They had advanced but a short dis- 
tance, however, when they were met by a part of the Seventh 
North Carolina Regiment and driven out at the point of the 
bayonet, the Yankees leaping over the breastworks into the 
ditch beyond. 

"It was during this time that we met with a severe loss in 
the death of Major Carmichael — as true a patriot and as 
brave a gentleman as ever lived. His death occurred in this 
manner: Colonel Avery and Major Carmichael were stand- 
ing together at the corner of the traverse nearest the railroad. 
Tliey were watching the action on the left and beyond the 
brick yard, when a single ball, whether aimed at the party or 
not, entered the mouth of Major Carmichael as he was speak- 
ing, and passed out at the back of the neck. I was standing 
at his side when he fell. He died instantly. A feeling of 

Twenty-Sixth Regiment. 317 

bitter grief ran through the trenches as he fell, for there was 
not a man in the Twenty-sixth regiment who was not devot- 
edly attached to him. During the battle, Major Carmichael 
wore a small Confederate flag, perhaps three by four inches in 
dimension, mounted on a staff and attached to his cap. This 
ma;j have attracted the fatal shot." The flag had been given 
the Major by a lady of New Bern, and he had promised her 
he would wear it in his cap in his first battle. It was doubt- 
less the cause of his being singled out by some sharpshooter. 

We will now return to the left of the Confederate line be- 
tween the railroad and Fort Thompson. General Branch's 
paucity of troops prevented his taking advantage of Lieuten- 
ant-Colonel Haywood's brilliant bayonet charge with the 
Seventh Kegiment. The enemy were driven back, but there 
were no soldiers to occupy the vacant line of defense at the 
brick yard, or to take the place in the works vacated by the 
retreat of the militia and the Thirty-fifth Eegiment. Says 
General Branch, in his report : "The whole of the militia had 
abandoned their positions. Colonel Sinclair's Regiment very 
qiiickly followed their example. This laid open Haywood's 
right and a portion of the breastworks was left vacant. I had 
not a njan with whom to occupy it, and the enemy soon passed 
in a column along the railroad and through a portion of the 
cut down timber in front which marched up behind the breast- 
works to attack what remained of Colonel Campbell's com- 
mand." How this was done we will explain by quoting from 
Brigadier-General Parke, commanding the force su.pporting 
Reno's Brigade attacking the Confederate right wing. 

"Lieutenant-Colonel Clark, commanding the Twenty-first 
Massachusetts, meeting Colonel Rodman, of the Fourth 
Rhode Island, informed him he had been in the works and 
assured him of the feasibility of again taking the intrench- 

"I approved of this course on the part of Colonel Rodman, 
and at once ordered the Eighth Connecticut and the Fifth 
Rhode Island to his support. Passing quickly by the rifie 
pits which opened on us with little injury, we entered in rear 
of the intrenchments and the regiments in a gallant manner 
carried gun after gun, until the whole nine brass pieces on 

318 North Carolina Troops, l861-'65. 

their front line wei-e in our possession, the enemy sullenly re- 
tiring, firing only three guns from the front and three others 
from the fort on their left (Thompson). The Eighth Con- 
necticut and Fifth Elhode Island followed immediately in 
the rear, and in support of the Fourth Khode Island. Al- 
though now in possession of the entire works of the enemy be- 
tween the railroad and the river, the heavy firing on our left 
and beyond the railroad proved that General Reno's Brigade 
was still hotly engaging the enemy. 

"I ordered the Fifth Ehode Island Battalion and the 
Eighth Connecticut to advance cautiously. Captain J. N". 
King then reported that the enemy still occupied rifie pits 
along side the railroad back of the brick yard and a series of 
redoubts extending beyond the railroad and in General Eeno's 

"I then had the Fourth Rhode Island brought up and or- 
dered the Colonel to drive the enemy from his position. This 
order was executed in a most gallant manner. The regiment 
charged the enemy in flank, while a simultaneous charge was 
made by General Reno in front, thus driving the enemy from 
his last stronghold." 

General Burnside in his report of the battle, says : "Gen- 
eral Foster seeing our forces inside the enemiy's lines, im- 
mediately ordered his brigade to charge, when the whole line 
of breastworks between the railroad and the river were most 
gallantly carried. After the cheers of our men had subsided, 
it was discovered that General Reno was still engaged with 
the enemy on the left, upon w\iich General Parke moved back 
with a view of getting in rear of the enemy's forces in the in- 
trenchments to the left of the railroad. General Foster, also 
moved forward with one of his regiments, with a view of get- 
ting to the rear." It was to this last regiment that Colonel 
Avery and Captain Rand surrendered. This regiment Gen- 
eral Foster marched down the county road leading to ITew 
Bern, until opposite the camp of the Twenty-sixth Regiment, 
when turning to the left, he marched through the woods and 
took position on both sides of the railroad; he also brought 
up four pieces of artillery and placed them in positicm. 

Let us now return to Captain Rand's account of the clos- 

Twenty-Sixth Regiment. 319 

ing incidents of the battle on his part of the line : "The ac- 
tion at this place had now continued for more than three 
hours. Our men from first to last poured in their fire with 
deliberate aim. Colonel Avery was everywhere along the 
trenches animating the men by his presence. I may say 
that nearly every man did his duty nobly. Many were the 
narrow escapes. Colonel Avery received a ball through his 
cap, and many received balls through their hats or clothes. 
The respective forces were all the time within from two to 
three hundred yards of each other ; all had been silent along 
our lines, both right and left of us for some time. Just at 
this time, while we were so intently engaged on our front, we 
were fired into on our left by a considerable body of the enemy 
who had taken position in the edge of the woods beyond the 
railroad. This determined the conflict so far as we were 
concerned. Colonel Avery saw in an instant that nothing 
now remained but to draw off the troops. The order was 
given and we went out of the trenches amidst a perfect storm 
of bullets from both right and left. 

The intention of Colonel Avery was to rally the men and 
form line on the railroad. He succeeded in a great measure, 
and marched diagonally through the woods, a distance of 
three or four hundred yards, for a point on the railroad just 
above the camp of the Twenty-sixth Regiment. My com- 
pany occupied the extreme left of the rifle pit, and became the 
right of the line in retreat. The woods were so filled with 
underbrush that we could see but a short distance before us. 
When we had advanced far enough to see through the opening 
made for the railroad track, and had nearly reached the place 
where we were to form line, we discovered just across the 
railroad, and about fifty or seventy-five yards in front of our 
right, four pieces of the enemy's artillery and a regiment of 
infantry deployed on each side and extending across the rail- 
road. An officer immediately rode out and demanded a sur- 
render. Seeing ourselves surrounded and no hope of escape. 
Colonel Avery, and those on the right, surrendered. Those 
on the left, being further off, and aided by the cover of the 
woods, nearly all escaped. The surrender took place at 11 :30 
o'clock a. m. The number of prisoners taken at this place 

320 North Carolina Troops, 1861-65. 

were about one hundred and fifty. The number of prisoners 
taken in all were two himdred and six." This admirable and 
intelligent account of the battle was prepared by Captain 
Rand, shortly after his capture. It is accompanied with a 
diagram of the battle field made by Lieutenant Woodbury 
Wheeler, of Latham's Battery, who was also captiired. 

These gentlemen were permitted to visit the battle field 
from one end to the other, and they carefully made notes for 
the purpose of giving an account of the battle. Space for- 
bids my quoting the report in its entirety. I will only make 
one further quotation: "We received no orders to retreat, 
neither did we receive orders of any kind during the whole 
course of the battle. The woods were very thick, which, 
coupled with the mist of the morning, made it impossible to 
see our troops on either side. We retreated because we were 
exposed to a cross fire, and because it would have been certain 
destruction to have held our places five minutes longer. No 
ofiicer or man dreamed of such a thing as being taken pris- 
oner. We cou.ld have made good our retreat if we had re- 
ceived the order as others did." 

In justice to General Branch, on this point, I quote from, 
his ofiicial report: "Finding the day was lost, my next care 
was to secure the retreat. I dispatched two couriers to Colo- 
nel Avery and two to Colonel Vance, with orders' to fall back 
to the bridges, etc., etc." These couriers never delivered their 
orders. This account "will be incomplete without making 
quotation from Colonel Vance's and Lieutenant-Colonel Rob- 
ert F. Hoke's reports of this battle. Lieutenant-Colonel 
Hoke says : "The regiment moved up to the scene of action 
in fine style. Colonel Avery in command in the centre, I of 
the right wing. Major Lewis of the left. Colonel Avery gave 
the command to fire, which seemed to have great effect, as 
the enemy scampered. Major Lewis then moved to the right 
of the railroad with several (four) companies, and engaged 
the enemy from that time tmtil after 12 o'clock. He be- 
haved most gallajatly, was in the hottest of the whole battle 
field. He repulsed the enemy time and again, and twice 
charged them with detachments from his companies, and 
each time made them flee. Our loss was greater at that 

Twenty-Sixth Regiment. 321 

point than any other, as he had to fight to his front, right, 
and left, biit still maintained his position. Finding the en- 
emy were getting in strong force on our right, and were going 
to turn our right flank, as there were no troops between our 
regiment and the left of Colonel Vance's companies, a dis- 
tance of a quarter of a mile, I moved quickly with Captain 
Park's company, and sent a messenger to Colonel Avery for 
another company. He immediately sent me Captain Kes- 
ler's company. I ordered the whole to fire, which did great 
execution, as the enemy fell and fled, but soon appeared in 
strong force and again we drove them back, but soon they 
again appeared in stronger force, and engaged us, which con- 
tinued until 12 :30 o'clock. At 12 :15 o'clock I saw a United 
States flag flying upon one of our works, but saw Colonel 
Avery still fighting. I did not know that Colonel Avery and 
Major Lewis had fallen back until I saw the enemy upon my 
left with several regiments, and about fifty yards to the rear 
of the position Colonel Avery had occupied. I ordered the 
men under my command to fall back, but to do so in order. 
We were hotly fired at as we fell back." 

I next quote from Colonel Z. B. Vance's report of the bat- 
tle : "The regiment was posted by Lieutenant-Colonel Bur- 
gwyn in the series of redans, constructed by me on the right 
of the railroad, in the rear of Bullen's Branch, extending 
from the railroad to the swamp, about 500 yards from the 
road by Weathersby. At this road I had constructed the 
night before a breastwork, commanding the passage of the 
swamp, and there was placed a section of Brem's artillery. 
Lieutenant Williams commanding, and Captain McEae's 
company of infantry, with a portion of Captain Hays' and 
Lieutenant W. A. Graham's Second Cavalry (ISTineteenth 
JSTorth Carolina) dismounted. About 2 o'clock Friday morn- 
ing (14 March) I pushed Companies B, E, and K, of my 
right wing across the small swamp alluded to so as to make 
my extreme right rest on the battery at the Weathersby road. 
During the day, two companies of the Thirty-third Regiment, 
under Lieutenant-Colonel Hoke, about 9 a. m., were placed 
in the redans vacated by my right companies. 

322 North Carolina Troops, 1861-'65. 

The battle began on my left wing about 7:30 a. m., ex- 
tending towards my right by degrees, until about 8 :30 a. m., 
all the troops in my command were engaged as far as the 
swamp referred to. 

The fight was kept up until about 12 o'clock, when infor- 
mation was brought me by Captain J. J. Young, my Quar- 
termaster, who barely escaped with his life in getting to me, 
that the enemy in great force had turned my left by the rail- 
road track at the woods and the brick yard, had pillaged my 
camp, were firing in reverse on my left wing, and were sev- 
eral hundred yards up the railroad between me and New 
Bern. Also that all the troops were in full retreat except my 

Without hesitation, I gave the order to retreat. My men 
jumped out of the trenches, rallied and formed in the woods 
without panic or confusion, and having first sent a messenger 
to Lieutenant-Colonel Burgwyn to follow with the forces on 
the right, we struck across the Weathersby's road to Bryce's 
Creek. On arriving at the creek, found only one small boat, 
capable of carrying only three men. The creek here is too 
deep to ford and seventy-five yards wide. Some plunged in 
and swam over, and swimming over myself, I rode down to 
Captain Whitf ord's house on the Trent river, and through the 
kindness of Mr. Kit. Foy, procured three more small boats. 
Carrying one on our shoulders, we hurried up to the crossing. 
In the meantime, Lieutenant-Colonel Burgwyn arrived with 
the forces of the right wing in excellent condition, and as- 
sisted me with the greatest coolness and efficiency in getting 
the troops across, which, after four hours of hard labor, and 
the greatest anxiety, we succeeded in doing. Lieutenant-Col- 
onel Burgwyn saw the last man over before he entered the 
boat. I regret to say that three men were drowned in crossing. 

"A large Yankee force were drawn up in view of our scouts, 
about one mile away, and their skirmishers appeared just as 
the rear got over." 

Of the deaths of Major Carmichael and Captain Martin 
Colonel Vance thus feelingly speaks: 

"Major A. B. Carmichael fell about 11 a. m. by a shot 
through the head, while gallantly holding his post on the left 

Twenty-Sixth Regiment. 323 

under a most galling fire. A braver, nobler soldier never fell 
on field of battle. Generous and open-hearted, as he was 
brave and chivalrous, he was endeared to the whole regiment. 
Honored be his memory. Soon thereafter, Captain W. P. 
Hartin, of Company 11, also fell, near the regimental colors. 
Highly respected as a man, brave and determined as a sol- 
dier, he was equally regretted by his command, and by all 
who Imew him. Lieutenant Porter, of Company A, was also 
left behind wounded. Captain A. IST. McMillan was badly 
wounded, but got away safely. 

"Once across Bryce's Creek, we were joined by Lieutenant- 
Colonel Hoke, Thirty-third Regiment, with a portion of his 
command, and took the road for Trenton. We marched 
night and day, stopping at no time for rest or sleep more than 
four hours. We arrived at Kinston safely about noon on 16 
March, having marched fifty miles in about thirty-six 

"I cannot conclude this report," says Colonel Vance, 
"without mentioning in terms of the highest praise the spirit 
of determination and power of endurance manifested by the 
troops during the hardships and sufferings of our march. 
Drenched with rain, with blistered feet, without sleep, many 
sick and wounded, and almost naked, they toiled on through 
day and all the weary watches of the night without murmur- 
ing, cheerfully, and with subordination, evincing most thor- 
oughly the high qualities in adversity which military men 
learn to value even more than courage on the battle field." 

We close this account of the battle with one or two inci- 
dents. When Bryce's Creek was reached, there was some 
confusion, and a natural eagerness to get across, as the ene- 
my's guns were heard in the distance. Many attempted to 
swim across, and several were drowned before the officers 
could restrain them. Colonel Vance, to inspire confidence, 
spurred his horse in the creek, the animal refusing to swim, 
the Colonel became unseated and weighed down with his ac- 
coutrements, he sank from view in the dark water of the 
stream and was about to be drowned, when assistance was ren- 
dered him, and he reached the opposite side in safety. Lieu- 
tenantColonel Burgwyn and his college-mate, Lieutenant W. 

324 North Carolina Troops, 1861-'65. 

A. Graham, Company K, ISTineteenth ISTorth Carolina (Sec- 
ond Cavalry), taking their stand on opposite sides of a. 
path leading to the stream, with swords crossed, counted the 
men off in boat load lots as they were called out, and in this 
way without confusion or crowding, all were successfully fer- 
ried over and these two officers were the last to step aboard. 

Major Wm. A. Graham, so widely known in the State for 
his prominence in agricultural matters, at the battle of 'New 
Bern was Lieutenant in command of Company K, Second 
North Carolina Cavalry, and the writer has been so fortunate 
as to get him for an eye witness account of that part of the 
battlefield where his command was posted, as follows : 

"My company (K) was dismounted and placed in the brick 
yard. About sun set was ordered to report to Colonel Vance, 
Twenty-sixth North Carolina Troops, who sent me to Lieu- 
tenant-Colonel Burgwyn, commanding right wing of the 
Twenty-sixth Regiment and the companies on the road 
(Weathersby). Colonel Burgwyn placed my company on 
picket some half mile or more beyond the bridge, and he, with 
writer, scouted on flank of the pickets. The axes of the en- 
emy could be heard cutting a road along the railroad. 

"Next morning Captain Hayes, of Company A, Second 
Cavalry, reported. The pickets were called in and every- 
thing made ready for the battle. The forces at the road 
(Weathersby) consisted of Companies A and K, Second Cav- 
alry, a section of the Charlotte battery. Lieutenant A. B, 
Williams in command and Captain McRae's independent 
company of infantry. Company K connected the force in 
the road with the right of the Twenty-sixth Regiment. No 
enemy appeared in our front and when Colonel Burgwyn be- 
gan forming the companies of the TAventy-sixth in rear of 
the entrenchments, we had no idea we had been defeated, but 
thought it was probably for pursuit. Going to him for or- 
ders, he informed me that we had been defeated on the left 
and must try and beat the enemy to New Bern. 

"Everything moved off in fair order until getting near the 
crossing of the railroad, a scout announced the enemy coming 
up the railroad only a short distance ojBf. Colonel Burgwyn 
ordered the artillery and Captain Hayes' company, who were 

Twenty-Sixth Regiment. 325 

mounted, to save themselves, which they proceeded to do. 
Colonel Burgwyn, with the infantry, took to the left through 
the woods. He dismounted his ordetly and gave me one of 
his horses and ordered me to scout to the left and forward to 
see if the bridges were standing. Coming out at the camp 
of the Thirty-seventh Regiment, I saw both bridges on fire 
and so reported. We then struck the trail of Colonel Vance's 
retreat and overtook his command at Bryee's creek, endeavor- 
ing to cross in a boat, carrying three men. Colonel Vance 
had swam his horse across the creek and had gone to hunt 
other boats. It was reported that the enemy were close upon 
us and at least half of the men threw their arms in the creek, 
saying they did not intend that the Yankees should have 
them. There was great confusion. Colonel Burgwyn was as 
cool as if nothing unusual was transpiring. Calling such of 
the officers as he saw to him, he announced he would hold a 
"council of war," told the council we were responsible for the 
action of the men, and must form them and keep order. This 
was done. Men were sent up and down the creek to hunt 

"In the afternoon a negro man who belonged to Foy, 

came to the opposite side of the creek and announced there 
was a boat a mile or so down the creek where Colonel Hoke 
(R. F.) had crossed. The men moved off through the swamp 
down the creek, sometimes up to the armpit in the mire. The 
negro went along on the other side, and when he reached the 
boat he halloed and we went to him. I got into the boat and 
had just taken a seat, when Colonel Burgwyn called me to 
him and said I must help him keep the men from overload- 
ing and sinking the boat; the boat would hold, eighteen. I 
stood facing Colonel Burgwyn, and each time as we counted 
eighteen we halted the column. When we all had crossed ex- 
cept Colonel Burgwyn and myself, I entered the boat and, 
leading the horse into the water, swam him over along its 
side. The boat returned and Colonel Burgwyn came over in 
like style. It was now near sun set. Colonel Burgwyn took 
command of such formation as there was and held it until we 
reached Trenton next day, where we found Colonel Vance 
and several hundred men of the different commands which 


North Carolina Troops, 1861-65. 

had been at New Bern. Colonel Vance assumed command 
and brought the troops to Kinston." 

When Captain J. J. Yoimg met the fleeing militia, he tried 
to rally them- — exhorted them to go back and rejoin their 
comrades fighting in the works, saying, their conduct would 
forever disgrace them ; that the papers would be full of their 
cowardice, etc., etc. One of them replied : "I had rather fiU 
twenty newspapers than one grave." Some of the militia did 
not stop running until they reached New Bern. One was 
found dead on the rear platform of the last train as it crossed 
the river into New Bern, expiring as he reached the train 
just starting, having run all the way from the battle field, 
about five miles. 

To make this account historically complete, I append 
list of the troops engaged on either side, and the casualties 




. >,' . 











. c3 






















^^-^ « 







Killed . . 


j 5 


















Missing and Prisoners.. 













Foster's Bri- 
gade, 23, 24. 25 
and 27 Mass. 
and 10 Conn. 

Reno's Bri- 
gade, 31 Mass., 
51 N. Y.,9 N. 
J. and 51 Pa. 

Parke's Bri- 
gade, 4 R L, 5 
R. L,8and 11 


Killed. . . . 





Wounded . 





Artillery . . 

3' killed, 8 Iwounded. 



Twenty-Sixth Regiment. 327 

So much space is given to the account of this, the first hat- 
tie in which the regiment was engaged, because it was its first 
battle, and the conduct of its officers and men was so alto- 
gether creditable. No troops could have borne themselves 
better under the ordeal to which they were exposed. The 
rapidity of General Burnside's advance took General Branch 
by surprise. The latter expected at least a day's delay at 
Fisher's landing, and at the Croatan breastworks above Otter 
Creek, but there was no fight at these advanced points of de- 
fense, and nothing delayed the enemy's rapid approach. An- 
other day and the brick yard would have been defended by 
artillery, and this point secure. General Burnside would have 
failed in his attempt to capture New Bern. The disparity of 
forces was great, but General Foster, with his five regiments, 
opposed by Colonels Campbell and Lee, with their three, 
could make no headway on the Confederate left; and General 
Keno, with his four regiments, assisted by General Parke, 
was regularly driven back by the Twenty-sixth and Thirty- 
third Regiments on the right. One regiment to have replaced 
the 350 militia, and the Thirty-fifth Regiment, would have 
stood as firm as the others, and there would have been no un- 
defended part of the line to let the enemy through ; and rein- 
forcements, which were hurrying to General Branch's assist- 
ance, would have reached him during the day. 

General Burnside well won his promotion as Major-Gen- 
eral, which was the result of his victory, whereas on the Con- 
federate side, this battle introduced to the military world 
names to become distinguished in the annals of the war. 

The press of the State heaped eulogies upon the officers 
and men of the Twenty-sixth Regiment and recruits flocked 
to its standard. 

Governor Vance applied for and received permission to re- 
cruit his regiment to a legion, and was in a fair way to suc- 
ceed, several companies having arrived in camp, and others 
were at home drilling, when he gave up the attempt in dis- 
gust at what he thought was "the opposition to the scheme on 
the part of the State and Confederate authorities," and the 
companies were disbanded. 

While resting at Kinston, after the battle of New Bern, 

328 North Carolina Troops, 1861-65. 

Captain If. P. Eankin, of Company F, was elected Majorvice 
Carmichael, killed; and First Lieutenant Clement Dowd 
elected Captain of Company H, vic« Martin, killed; First 
Lieutenant Joseph E. Ballew was promoted to be Captain of 
Company F. 

The troops around Kinston were now reorganized. Brig- 
adier-General French, on 16 March, reached Groldsboro and 
relieved General Branch of the command of the District of 
Pamlico; and 19 March General Gatlin was relieved of com- 
mand on account of ill health, and Major-General Theo. H. 
Holmes, assigned to the command of the Department of 
ISTorth Carolina. On 17 March Brigadier-General Robert 
Ransom was ordered to Goldsboro "for duty with troops in 
the field," and a brigade was formed for him consisting of the 
Twenty-fourth, Twenty-fifth, Twenty-sixth, Thirty-fifth, 
Forty-eighth and Forty-ninth North Carolina Regiments. 
Under this gallant and accomplished soldier and disciplina- 
rian, numerous drills and strict camp regulations prevailed 
until on 20 June, 1862, the brigade was ordered to Virginia 
to join Lee's army, then confronting McClellan below Rich- 


The Twenty-sixth Regiment was a twelve-months regiment, 
and in the Spring of 1862 re-enlisted for the war. The men 
in the ranks were given the right to elect their company offi- 
cers, and the latter the right to elect field ofiicers. 

Many changes took place in the regiment at its reoi'ganiza- 
tion. Colonel Vance was always most popular with his men. 
He sought and obtained to the fullest extent the love of his 
soldiei-s, was always solicitous of their welfare and comfort, 
leaving chiefly to his second in command matters of drill and 
discipline. At no time was there any doubt as to his re- 

As to Lieutenant-Colonel Burgwyn, had the election taken 
place before the regiment had in actual battle experienced the 
benefit of drill and strict obdience to orders, he could not have 
been re-elected. Says an officer of the regiment (Captain 
Thomas J. Cureton) : "Colonel Burgwyn was emphatically 

Twenty-Sixth Hegiment. 329 

a worker in camp, careful of the comforts of his men, con- 
stantly drilling; he believed in discipline and endeavored to 
bring his regiment to the highest state of efficiency. I always 
found him strict in camp, so much so, that up to the battle of 
New Bern he was very unpopular, and I often heard the men 
say if they ever got into a fight with him what they would 
do, etc., etc." 

The morning before the fight, Burnside's gunboats were 
coming up the river, shelling the banks. Colonel Vance was 
placed in command of the right of our line, or in other words, 
acting Brigadier-General. Lievitenant-Colonel Burgwyn was, 
therefore, in command of the Twenty-sixth Regiment. He 
suspected the feelings of the men towards him. He formed 
the regiment at the point where the breastworks crossed the 
railroad, and addressed them in substance as follows: "Sol- 
diers ! the enemy are before you, and you will soon be in 
combat. You have the reputation of being one of the best 
drilled regiments in the service. Now I wish you to prove 
yourselves one of the best fighting. Men, stand by me, and I 
will by you." The response was unanimous — "We will," 
from the men. Next day the battle was fought. Only the 
left companies of the regiment under the command of Major 
Carmichael, and Captains Rand and Martin were most ac- 
tively engaged, and suffered heavily. The right companies, 
when they found the enemy on their flank and getting in 
their rear, had to fall back to find the bridge across the Trent, 
on fire, our troops all gone, and the only way of escape was to 
cross Bryce's Creek. 

When we got there only a small boat that would parry two 
people at a time could be found. Colonel Vance rode his 
horse in the creek, which refused to swim, and the colonel 
was very nearly drowned before assistance reached him. Sev- 
eral of the men were drowned trying to swim the creek. When 
the boat reached the bank we were on, an officer called to Col- 
onel Burgwyn to get in first. He was met with the reply: 
"I will never cross until the last man of my regiment is over." 
Nor did he till the last man was over. 

We retreated up to Trenton Court House and expected 
pursuit. Colonel Burgwyn was always in the rear. From 

330 North Carolina Troops, 1861-'65. 

this time on he had the entire confidence of his men and was 
their pride and love. Colonel Vance and Lieutenant-Colo- 
nel Burgwyn received practically the unanimous vote of the 


First Lieutenant James S. Kendall, Company K, was elec- 
ted Major. This gallant officer and accomplished soldier 
only survived his promotion a few weeks, dying before the 
regiment left for Virginia, from yellow fever, contracted at 
Wilmington while on furlough. 

First Lieutenant William Wilson became Captain of Com- 
pany B ; Second Lieutenant James T. Adams, Captain of 
Company D ; Second Lieutenant John T. Jones, Captain of 
Company I; Second Lieutenant John C. McLauchlin, Cap- 
tain of Company K., and First Lieutenant S. W. Brewer, 
Captain of Company E. 


While the Twenty-sixth Regiment was in camp in and 
around Kinston, after the battle of New Bern, many recruits 
joined the command. Among them were two young men, 
giving their names as L. M. and Samuel Blalock. They en- 
listed in Captain Ballew's company (F) and were brought to 
the regiment by private James D. Moore, of Company F. 
On the way from their home, in Caldwell County, to join the 
regiment, Moore was informed in strict confidence by L. M. 
(Keith) Blalock, that Samuel was his young wife, and that 
he would only enlist on condition that his Avife be allowed to 
enlist with him. This was agreed to by Moore, who was act- 
ing as recruiting officer, and Moore also promised not to 
divulge the secret. Sam Blalock is described as a good look- 
ing boy, aged 16, weight about 130 pounds, height 5 feet and 
4 inches, dark hair; her husband (Keith) was over 6 feet in 
height. Sam Blalock's disguise was never penetrated. She 
drilled and did the duties of a soldier as any other member 
of the company, and was very adept at learning the manual 
and drill. 

In about two months her husband, who was suffering from 

Twenty-Sixth Regiment. 331 

hernia and from poison from sumac, was discharged, and 
Sam informed his Captain and Colonel Vance, that he was a 
woman, whereupon she was discharged and permitted to join 
her husband. 

On returning home, Keith Blalock and his wife, now 
knoAvn by her real name, "Malinda," joined Kirk's com- 
mand, an organized body of Union troops, made up largely of 
deserters and bushwhackers, operating in the Western part 
of the State. 

In the Spring of 1864, while the said James D. Moore was 
at home at his father's, at a place called the Globe, recovering 
from the wound he had received at Gettysburg, the house 
was attacked by Keith and Malinda Blalock, and their gang, 
and Carroll Moore, his father, severely wounded. Several of 
the marauders were wounded, and among them Malinda. 

Again in the fall of 1864, Keith and his raiders attacked 
Mr. Carroll Moore's house, and were again driven off. This 
time Keith was shot in the head, and one eye put out. 

After the war, Keith attempted merchandizing in Mitchell 
County and was a candidate for the Legislature on the Re- 
publican ticket, but was defeated, and about 1892 he and his 
wife went to Texas. They subsequently returned to North 
' Carolina, and at this time (1901) are living in Mitchell 
county. Malinda Blalock's maiden name was Pritchard, and 
her brother, Riley Pritchard, was United States Commis- 
sioner in President Harrison's Administration. 


Ordered to Virginia, 20 June, 1862. Ransom's Brigade 
was directed to report to General Huger on the Williamsburg 
road, and a little before dark on the night of 25 June, Colo- 
nel Vance's Regiment relieved the Twenty-fourth JSTorth Car- 
olina Regiment on picket duty in front of the enemy. 

The night was very dark, and with no one to direct them, 
the regiment took position on one side of a rail fence and in 
front of a hedge row. As it happened, the enemy were lying 
down in line of battle on the opposite side, and abiding their 
time. After the Twenty-sixth had gotten quieted dovm for 

332 North Carolina Troops, 1861-'65. 

the night, in entire ignorance of the presence of the enemy, 
the latter suddenly arose, thrust their guns through the fence 
rails and opened fire. So close were they to us, says a mem- 
ber of the regiment, that the beards of many of the men were 
singed. The surprise was so great that seven of the compa- 
nies on the right of the regiment went to the rear ;. however, 
Companies G, H and K, undaunted by the nearness and num- 
bers of the enemy, remained on the field. On the next morn- 
ing those companies were highly complimented by their field 
ofiicers for their exceedingly creditable conduct in holding 
their lines during the night under such trying circumstances. 
Again, on picket, on the 27 June, the Twenty-sixth Regi- 
ment was pushed to the front and took possession of some 
unfinished works of the enemy. Just as it was about to be re- 
lieved, it was attacked, but returned the fire so briskly and 
with such effect as to drive the enemy back. 

Quoting from so much of Brigadier-General Robert Ran- 
som's report of the part his brigade took in the battle of Mal- 
vern Hill, as applies to the Twenty-sixth Regiment, he says : 
"At 7 p. m. (July 1, 1862) I received the third request from 
General Magruder, that he must have aid, if only one regi- 
ment. The message was so pressing that I at once directed 
Colonel Clarke to go with his regiment ( Twenty-fourth North 
Carolina). The brigade was at once put in motion, Colonel 
Clarke had already gone. Colonel Rutledge next, then Colonel 
Ransom, Colonels Ramseur and Vance, all moved to the 
scene of conflict at the double quick. As each of the three 
first named regiments reached the field, they were at once 
thrown into action by General Magruder's orders. As the 
last two arrived, they were halted by me to regain their 
breath, and then pushed forward under as fearful fire as the 
mind can conceive. 

"Ordering the whole to the right so as to be able to form 
under cover, I brought the brigade in line within 200 yards 
of the enemy's batteries. It was now twilight ; the line was 
put in motion and moved steadily forward to within less than 
100 yards of the batteries. The enemy seemed unaware of 
our movements. Masses of his troops appeared to be moving 
from his left towards his right. Just at this instant the bri- 

Twenty-Sixth Regiment. 333 

gade raised a tremendous shout, and the enemy at once 
wheeled into line and opened upon us a perfect sheet of fire 
from muskets and the batteries. We steadily advanced to 
within twenty yards of the guns. The enemy had concen- 
trated his forces to meet us. Our onward movement was 
checked ; the line wavered and fell back before a fire, the in- 
tensity of which is beyond description. It was a bitter disap- 
pointment to be compelled to yield when their guns seemed 
almost in our hands." 

The losses sustained by Ransom's Brigade from 26 June to 
1 Jxily, 186'2, inclusive, embraced . three Colonels wounded, 
one Lieutenant-Colonel killed, several field officers and many 
company officers, and a total of 499 privates killed and 

Casualties separately stated : 

Regiments 24th. 

Killed 9 

Wounded 42 


During the charge of the regiment at Malvern Hill, Cap- 
tain Lane, of Company G, had the pocket of his coat cut open 
by a ball, and the contents fell on the ground. Among these 
was a package wrapped in newspaper, containing the month's 
pay of his company. Next morning Captain Lane discovered 
his loss, obtained permission to go and hunt for it, and strange 
to say, found the package untouched, lying in the open ground 
where it had fallen among the dead and wounded. 

After the regiment had taken its position for the night 
after the charge, and the officers and men were resting on their 
arms. Captain Lane lay down between two of his soldiers and 
fell asleep, l^ext morning when he awoke the man on his 
right and left had both been killed by the enemy's fire while 
asleep, and their deaths not discovered. They awoke to the 
sound of the "reveille" in another world. 

While the men were lying down in line of battle, waiting 
the order to charge, they were subjected to a furious shelling, 
and there was more or less dodging of the head as the missiles 













334 North Carolina Troops, 1861-'65. 

whizzed by. "Why are you so polite in the presence of the 
enemy," remarked Colonel Vance. A rabbit was flushed by 
the line as it advanced, which caused the men to raise a shout 
as it ran past them, whereupon Colonel Vance joined in the 
cry, saying: "Go it cotton tail. If I had no more reputation to 
lose than you have, I would run too." 

On 7 July Kansom's Brigade was ordered back to General 
Holmes' command, and on 31 July, 1862, Major-General D. 
H. Hill relieved General Holmes in command of the Depart- 
ment of North Carolina, and 11 August Brigadier-General J. 
Johnston Pettigrew, who had been severely wounded and 
captured at the battle of Seven Pines, 1 June, 1862, was as- 
signed to the command of Petersburg, and given the brigade 
then under the command of Colonel Junius Daniel. 


Colonel Vance's election as Governor in August, 1862, 
caused a vacancy in' the Colonelcy of the Twenty-sixth Regi- 
ment. The LieutenantColonel was not 21 years of age, and 
the opposition of General Ransom to his promotion on account 
of his age, the General saying: "He wanted no boy Colonel 
in his brigade," was well known to the regiment, and indig- 
nantly resented. 

Application was made through the proper channels for a " 
transfer to some other brigade, and on 26 August, 1862, by 
special order No. 199, from the A. & I. G. office, at Rich- 
niond, the Twenty-sixth Regimont was detached and ordered 
to report to Brigadier-General S. G. French, at Petersburg, 
Va., for duty with the brigade formerly commanded by Brig- 
adier-General J. G. Martin. 

Referring to the election of Colonel Vance as Governor, 
one of the regiment writes as follows: "Though rejoicing 
that he had been chosen Governor of the State by such a com- 
plimentary majority, with a pang of regret we saw Colonel, 
now Governor-elect Z. B. Vance, exchange the sword for the 
helm of State. He received almost the unanimous support 
of the regiment, there being only seven votes cast against him, 
which well attests his popularity among his troops. 

Twenty-Sixth Regiment. 335 

"His separation from us was quite sad, all feeling the 
heavy loss to the regiment. In his farewell address to the 
regiment, he, with his usual truthfulness and sincerity, scorn- 
ed to hold out any false promises to those who had been under 
his command, telling them plainly, that all they could expect 
was 'War ! War ! ! War ! ! ! Fight till the end.' 

"But in the promotion of Lieutenant-Colonel Burgwyn to 
the Colonelcy of the regiment, we gained an officer, young, 
gallant and brave, and eminently fitted to fill the vacancy." 

Speaking of the transfer of the regiment to Pettigrew's Bri- 
gade, this writer goes on to say: "Never was there a more 
fortunate change. It seemed as if Pettigrew and Burgwyn 
were made for each other. Alike in bravery, alike in action, 
alike in their militai-y bearing, alike in readiness for battle 
and in skillful horsemanship, they were beloved alike by the 
soldiers of the Twenty-sixth. Each served as a pattern for 
the other, and in imitating each other they reached the high- 
est excellence possible of attainment in every trait which dis- 
tinguishes the ideal soldier." It will be of pathetic interest to 
state in addition to the above eloquent panegyric, that both 
General Pettigrew and Colonel Burgwyn were akimni of the 
State University, and fell on the field of battle within a few 
days of each other, the one on Gettysburg's gory field, 1 July, 
1863 ; the other, commanding the rear guard of the army on 
its retreat across the Potomac at Falling Waters, 14 July, 

The promotion of Lieutenant-Colonel Burgwyn, and the 
death of Major Kendall, who had been sick since his election, 
required the filling of the positions of Lieutenant-Colonel 
and Major. A board of examination having been appointed 
to pass upon the qualifications of all officers before their pro- 
motion. Captain John K. Lane, of Company G, and Captain 
John T. Jones, of Company I, were summoned for examina- 
tion, and obtaining the favorable report of the board, which 
was composed of Colonel H. K. Burgwyn, of the Twenty- 
sixth; Colonel Thomas Singletary, of the Forty-fourth, and 
Lieutenant-Colonel T. L. Hargrave, of the Forty-seventh 
North Carolina Regiments, duly received their commissions 
as Lieutenant-Colonel and Major, respectively. About this 

336 North Carolina Troops, l861-'65. 

time, Captain Ballew, of Company F, resigned and First 
Lieutenant E. M. Tuttle was promoted to be Captain of this 
company, to become famous above all other companies in the 
army, from the fact that every member present, numbering 
ninety-one, was killed or wounded in the battle of Gettys- 
burg. Captain Steele, of Company B, also resigned, and 
First Lieutenant Thomas J. Cureton became Captain, and 
served most gallantly to the end. Lieutenants H. C. Albright 
and N. G. Bradford were promoted to be Captains of Com- 
panies H and I, respectively. 


This brigade to become so famous in military annals, was 
composed of the Eleventh, Twenty-sixth, Forty-fourth, Forty- 
seventh and Fifty-second North Carolina Regiments. 

Of the commander of this brigade, later on in this sketch 
a more extended notice will be given. He was, at the time 
of its organization, convalescent from the severe wound re- 
ceived on 1 June, 1862, at the battle of Seven Pines, and was 
placed in command of Petersburg in the fall of 1862. Dur- 
ing the months of September, October, November and De- 
cember, 1862, Pettigrew's Brigade was either on duty in 
Virginia or North Carolina. 

The faithfulness with which Colonel Burgwyn disciplined 
the regiment, much improved its efficiency, and it became 
known as one of the best drilled regiments in the service. In 
his labors in this behalf, he was ably seconded by his Lieu- 
tenant-Colonel, John R. Lane, who manifested extraordinary 
abilities as a drill master, and disciplinarian. "This perfec- 
tion of drill, to which the excellent music of Captain Mickey's 
band greatly added, was a cause of just pride to every member 
of the regiment, officers and men alike. Never was any 
man prouder of his regiment and of his band, considered the 
finest in the army of Northern Virginia, than Colonel Bur- 
gwyn," writes a member of the regiment. 


The first opportunity afforded the Twenty-sixth regiment 
to show of what stuff it was made, acting in an independent 

Twenty-Sixth Regiment. 337 

command, occurred in the engagement at Eawls' Mills, in 
Martin County, N. C, in resisting General J. G. Foster's 
attempt to capture the regiment while on a reconnoissance in 
the neighborhood of Washington, Beaufort County. 

In his report of the expedition, General John G. Foster, 
commanding the Federal troops in North Carolina, with 
headquarters at New Bern, says he set out on 31 October, 
1862, from New Bern to capture the three regiments (Seven- 
teenth, Twenty-sixth and Fifty-ninth North Carolina) forag- 
ing through the Eastern counties of the State. He took three 
brigades, 21 pieces of artillery and cavalry, with ample wagon 
train, total 5,000 men. 

On 2 November, 1862, Foster left Washington for Wil- 
liamston. On the same evening he encountered the Twenty- 
sixth Regiment at Little Creek. He says : "I ordered Colo- 
nel Stevens, commanding Second Brigade, to drive them 
away. The engagement lasted one hour, when the enemy 
being driven from their rifle pits by the effective fire of Bel- 
ger's Rhode Island Battery, retired to Rawls' Mill. One 
mile further on, where they made another stand in a recently 
constructed field work, Belger's battery and two batteries of 
the Third New York artillery, after half an hour, succeeded 
in driving the enemy from their works, and across the bridge, 
which they burned. We bivouacked on the field, and next 
day proceeded to Williamston." 

The only Confederate troops to oppose these 5,000 of Fos- 
ter were six companies of the Twenty-sixth Regiment, under 
Colonel Burgwyn. Leaving four companies under Lieuten- 
ant-Colonel Lane, at Williamston, on the Roanoke river. Col- 
onel Burgwyn started out on a reconnoissance to go as far as 
Washington, N. C. He stationed two companies at Rawls' 
Mills, under Captain McLauchlin, of Company K, with or- 
ders to fortify the position and proceeding with the remaining 
four, reached the vicinity of Washington, N. C, just as Gen- 
eral Foster was starting out to capture him. 

Colonel Burgwyn had no cavalry or artillery. There were 
two parallel roads leading out of Washington for William- 
ston. Again, it was necessary to delay the Federal advance 

338 North Carolina Troops, 1861-'65. 

as much as possible, to give time to Colonel Ferebee, of the 
Fifty-ninth Regiment (Fourth Cavalry) and LieutenanlhCol- 
onel Lamb, in command of the Seventeenth Regiment, who 
were in the neighborhood of Plymouth, to retrace their steps. 
Dispatching a messenger to Colonels Lamb and Ferebee, warn- 
ing them of their danger, and one to Lieutenant-Colonel Lane, 
with an order to join him at Rawls' Mills, Colonel Burgwyn 
determined to resist Foster's advance at that point. 

As soon as it was ascertained which of the two roads the 
enemy had selected. Colonel Burgwyn chose the other and 
started out in the race for Rawls' Mills. On reaching the 
Mills, he ordered Captain McLauchlin to go down the road on 
which Foster was advancing, and hold him in check at Little 
Creek. Captain McLauchlin, with Companies K and I, 
reached Little Creek just as the enemy's cavalry began to 
cross, and attacked them with his handful of men. 

Colonel Burgwyn, placing his four companies in the hastily 
constructed breastworks at the Mills, awaited Foster's ad- 
vace. After Captain McLauchlin had been for some time 
engaged with the enemy at Little river, successfully defend- 
ing the passage of the stream against Colonel Stevenson's bri- 
gade with cavalry and artillery. Colonel Burgwyn sent Com- 
panies D and F, under command of Major Jones, to Cap- 
tain McLauchlin's support. Fearing that a longer resist- 
ance by so small a force would result in its capture. Colonel 
Burgwyn, after the fight had lasted over an hour, ordered 
Captain McLauchlin to join him at the Mills. Here Gen- 
eral Foster brought into action three batteries of artillery 
against the six companies at the Mills, and succeeded, "ac- 
cording to the General's report," after half an hour, in driv- 
ing the enemy from his works, and across the bridge, which 
they burned. The fact was. Colonel Burgwyn, having re- 
ceived advices that Colonels Ferebee and Lamb were safe, 
and Lieutenant-Colonel Lane having joined him from Wil- 
liamston, conckided to retire in the night, so as not to disclose 
the paucity of his force, and at his leisure fell back in the 
direction of Tarboro, first burning the bridge at the Mill. 
Captain McLauchlin lost one killed, and three wounded. 

Twenty-Sixth Regiment. 339 

General Foster's report admits a loss of six killed and eight 

After proceeding to within ten miles of Tarboro, "owing 
to the exposed condition of his men and want of provisions," 
says General Foster, he abandoned any further advance, and 
countermarched to Washington, and thence to New Bern. 

It was a singular coincidence that the Federal General 
(Foster) had been the tutor of his youthful antagonist (Bur- 
gwyn), when the latter was a student at West Point, in 1856, 
awaiting appointment in that institution, at which General 
Foster, then Captain Foster, was one of the professors. The 
art of war as taught by the professor was in this instance ap- 
plied to his discomfiture by the pupil. 

Foster's expedition against goldsboeo. 

In December, 1862, General Foster started out from New 
Bern to destroy the railroad bridge over the Neuse river, and 
capture Goldsboro, N. C. Major-General S. G. French, who 
was in command of the Department of North Carolina, under 
Major-General G. W. Smith, commanding at Richmond, as- 
sembled his forces to oppose him. On 17 December, 1862, a 
spirited engagement took place near Goldsboro, in which Gen- 
eral Foster was driven back, and he hastily retreated to New 
Bern. Pettigrew's brigade was not seriously engaged in this 
action, but pursued General Foster on the latter's retreat. 


On 7 February, 1863, Major-General G. W. Smith re- 
signed and Major-General D. H. Hill was again placed in 
command of the troops in North Carolina. General Hill re- 
solved on the capture of New Bern. General Pettigrew was 
given command of the troops on the north side of the Neuse, 
and General Hill had charge of those to operate on the south 

General Pettigrew with his brigade, started from Golds- 
boro on 9 March, 1863. By rapid marches he reached the 
enemy's works at Barrington's Ferry, near New Bern. The 
Twenty-sixth Regiment was ordered at daylight into position 

340 North Carolina Troops, 1861-'65. 

to carry the place. Three 20-poun(l Parrott guns relied upon 
to destroy the gunboats guarding the water approaches to 
ISTew Bern, proved utterly worthless. One burst, the ammu- 
nition was defective and their fire proved more injurious to 
the Confederates than to the enemy. There was nothing to 
do but to withdraw. "The only question," says General Pet- 
tigrew in his report, "was whether I should carry the works 
before withdrawing. The Twenty-sixth Regiment had been 
in waiting ever since daylight, and would have done it in five 
minutes. The works we could not hold. There would be a 
probable loss of a certain number of men sixty miles from a 
hospital. I decided against it. It cost me a struggle after 
so much labor and endurance to give up the eclat, but I felt 
that my duty to my country required me to save my men for 
some operation in which sacrifice would be followed by conse- 
quences. I therefore withdrew the whole command except 
the Twenty-sixth Regiment, which remained within about 
500 yards of the place, in order to cover the withdrawal of 
Captain Whitf ord's men. I cannot refrain from bearing tes- 
timony to the unsurpassed m.ilitary good conduct of those 
under me. In seven days they marched 12Y miles ; waded 
swamps, worked in them by night and day, bivouaced in the 
rain, some times without fire, never enjoyed a full night's rest 
after the first, besides undergoing a furious shelling, and 
discharging other duties. All this without murmuring or 
even getting sick." 

It was not long before General Pettigrew had another 
chance at the enemy, in which he was more fortunate. Gen- 
eral Hill, with all his available forces, on 30 March, 1863, 
invested General Foster in Washington, IST. C. On 9 April, 
1863, at Blount's Creek, Pettigrew's brigade met and defeated 
General Spinola in the latter's attempt to raise the siege. 
Finding it impossible to capture the place after the enemy's 
gun boats had succeeded in passing the batteries at Rodman's 
Point, and thus reinforcing General Foster, after fourteen 
days investment. General Hill withdrew, having failed in this 
attempt to capture the town. 


1. James T. Adams, Lieut -Colonel. 4. Stephen "W. Brewer, Captain. Co. E. 

2. Samuel P. Wagg, Captain, Co. A. 6. Jos. R. Ballew, Captain, Co. F. 

3. 'William Wilson, Captain, Co. B. 6. R. M. Tuttle, Captain, Co. F. 

7. H. C. Albright, Captain, Co. G. 

Twenty-Sixth Regiment. 341 


On 1 May, 1863, Pettigrew's Brigade was ordered to Rich- 
mond to be ever thereafter attached to the Army of ISTothem 
Virginia. Taking position first at Hanover Junction, to 
protect that important point in the enemy's attempts to cap- 
ture Richmond, the brigade, leaving the Forty-fourth Regi- 
ment behind at the junction, as a guard, proceeded to Fred- 
ericksburg, and now attached to Heth's Division, set out on 
15 June on the memorable march to invade Pennsylvania. 

Heth's Division, as then organized, was composed of Arch- 
er's Tennessee, Davis' Mississippi, Brockenborough's Vir- 
ginia, and Pettigrew's North Carolina Brigades. 

The division commander was a native of Virginia, a gradu- 
ate of West Point, had served with distinction in the war with 
Mexico, and against the Indians on the frontier, and had re- 
signed from the United States Army to accept service under 
his native State. Promoted from Colonel of the Forty-fifth 
Virginia Regiment to the command of a Virginia Brigade, he 
won additional promotion by his services in the Chancellors- 
ville campaign (Spring of 1863), and was now at the head of 
a command ever to bear his name and to serve under him until 
he, with its shattered remnants, surrendered at Appomattox. 
"His earnest praise of the great qualities of his North Caro- 
lina soldiers was imstinted. Even to the last, there was a 
peculiar tension and quiver of the mouth when he would 
speak of their almost God-like heroism at Gettysburg, and 
the unheard of and never equalled slaughter that checked, but 
never terrified them." 


Says a member of the regiment : "What a fine appearance 
the regiment made as it marched out from its' bivouac near 
Fredericksburg that beautiful June morning. The men 
beaming in their splendid uniforms ; the colors flying, and the 
drums beating ; everything seemed propitious of success. On 
this march it was a real pleasure to see with what joy the peo- 
ple who had hitherto been under the domination of the Fed- 
erals, received us. We marched by way of Harper's Ferry, 

342 North Carolina Troops, 1861-'65. 

where the gallows on which the notorious John Brown waa 
hanged, was pointed out to us. Our Colonel was one of the 
cadets at the Virginia Military Institute at the time, and one 
of those who had guarded John Brown while awaiting his ex- 

We crossed the Potomac at Shepherdstown and continued 
our march and rested beyond the little town of Fayetteville, 
Pa., on Sunday, 28 June, 1863. At this place the Chaplains 
held services. 

Alas, the last Sunday on earth to many a noble soul then 
beating with such high hopes and aspirations. At this place 
some of the men of our brigade robbed a farmer of a few of 
his bee hives. This was regretted, for strict orders had been 
given that on this great march into the enemy's country, noth- 
ing should be taken except such provisions as the commissa- 
ries might require to be issued as rations and for which they 
were willing to pay. It being suggested that some of the 
men of the Twenty-sixth got some of the honey, Colonel Bur- 
gwyn and Lieutenant-Colonel Lane sought out the owner and 
paid him for it. The farmers along our line of march were 
quietly reaping and housing their grain. They did not seem 
to be in the least frightened or dismayed by our presence, and 
were left by us in the quiet and undisturbed possession of 
their crops. 

On 30 June, we halted at a little village named Cashtown, 
on the Chambersburg Turnpike, about nine miles from Get- 
tysburg, and were mustered preparatory to payment, and later 
in the afternoon proceeded to within about three and one-half 
miles of Gettysburg, just this side of a little creek, crossed by 
a stone bridge, where we filed to the right and bivouacked in a 
-beautiful grove. That night Lietitenant-Colonel Lane was 
entrusted with the charge of the picket lines. After the es- 
tablishment of the line, two ladies, much distressed and 
alarmed, because they were cut off from their houses, ap- 
proached Colonel Lane who, assuring them that the Confeder- 
ate soldier did not make war upon women and children, but 
ever esteemed it his duty and privilege to protect them, ad- 
vanced the picket line beyond their homes, which lay close by. 

The same day General Pettigrew, with three regiments of 

Twenty-Sixth Regiment. 343 

his brigade, kept on to Gettysburg to procure shoes and other 
army supplies for his men ; but meeting a strong force of the 
enemy's cavalry (two brigades of Buford's Division), and 
instriicted not to bring on an engagement, General Pettigrew 
retraced his steps and rejoined the rest of the division in 
bivouac on the Ohambersburg Turnpike, about three and a 
half miles distant from the village of Gettysburg. That 
night the men of Heth's Division quietly dreamed of home 
and loved ones in blissful ignorance of the momentous fact 
that Meade's great army was almost within their hearing. 

GETTYSBUEG, 1-3 JULY, 1863. 

A warning carbine shot from a vidette of Buford's Cavalry 
Division on the bridge over Marsh Creek, fired in the early 
misty mom at the head of a column of infantry marching 
rapidly down the Chambersburg Turnpike, was the opening 
of the battle of Gettysburg This infantry column was the 
head of Heth's Division, marching to "feel the enemy" of 
whose presence the skirmish of the afternoon before, had ap- 
prised them. At once the leading brigade (Archer's) was 
filed to the right, formed in line of battle, its left resting on 
the turnpike and advanced to the front. Davis' brigade, 
forming in a similar manner on the left of the pike, with its 
right resting on the pike, also advanced. Pettigrew's and 
Brockenborongh's Brigades, for the present, were held in re- 
serve. Says a member of the Twenty-sixth Regiment: "As 
the head of the Twenty-sixth Regiment reaches the summit 
of the hill beyond the bridge crossing Marsh Creek, the enemy 
opens fire, sweeping the road with their artillery. There 
is some little excitement, but it soon disappears as Colonel 
Burgwyn riding along the line in his grandest style, com- 
mands in his clear, firm voice, 'Steady boys, steady.' " 

The regiment filed off to the right about a hundred yards, 
when General Pettigrew and staff appeared on the field. He 
was mounted on his beaiitiful dappled gray. ISTever before 
had he appeared to greater advantage. His command was 
"echelon by battalion, the Twenty-sixth Regiment by the left 
flank." Colonel Burgwyn gave his Regiment the command, 
March ! Then, as each regiment of the brigade marching to 

344 North Carolina Tkoops, 1861 -'65. 

the right, uncovered the regiment in its front, its commander 
gave the order "By the left flank, March," and thus in a few 
moments, and by the quickest tactical movement the brigade 
was in line of battle, marching to the front in the following 
order from left to right, Twenty-sixth Eegiment, Eleventh 
Eegiment, Forty-seventh Eegiment, and Fifty-second Eegi- 
ment, each under the command of its respective Colonel. 

Advancing in line of battle, the brigade was halted to 
await orders. Let us turn now to see what the Federals were 

On the night of 30 June, 1863, General Buford, in com- 
mand of the advance division of cavalry of the Federal army, 
bivouacked his division on the western side of McPherson's 
ridge, which slopes down by a gentle descent to Willoughby's 
Eun at the bottom. This ridge ran north and south, and 
about 400 yards to the west of the ' Seminary, which is about 
one-quarter of a mile to the west of Gettysburg. About 11 a. 
m. on 30 June, General Buford had entered Gettysburg by 
the Emmetsburg road, just as the head of Pettigrew's brigade 
was coming up on the Chambersburg turnpike, and as here- 
tofore stated, there was a skirmish, and General Pettigrew 
withdrew, not wishing to bring on an engagement. At 10 :30 
that night, General Buford telegraphed General Meade "he 
is satisfied that A. P. Hill's Corps is massed just back of 
Cashtown." As Archer's Brigade advanced, it met Bviford's 
pickets stretching along Willoughby run. Driving them in 
and rapidly advancing across the run, he struck Buford's main 
line — Gamble's Brigade composed of the Eighth New York, 
Eighth Illinois, two squadrons Twelfth Illinois, three squad- 
rons Third Indiana Cavalry and Calif's Horse Artillery of 
six 3-inch rifle guns, now dismounted and acting as infantry, 
and posted along McPherson's ridge and in McPherson's 
woods. These troops Archer was steadily driving back up 
the slope, when he suddenly found himself enveloped between 
the extended lines of Meredith's (Iron) Brigade, of Wads- 
worth's Division of the First Army Corps just arrived on 
the scene at double quick. Major-General A. Doubleday in 
his report of the battle of Gettysburg, thus describes this ac- 

TWKNTY-SlXTH Regiment. 345 

"The enemy (Archer's Brigade) were already in the woods 
and advancing at double quick to seize this central important 
position (McPherson's woods). The Iron Brigade led by 
the Second Wisconsin, in line followed by the other regi- 
ments, deployed en echelon, and without a moment's hesita- 
tion charged with the utmost steadiness and fury and hurled 
the enemy back into the run, and captured, after a sharp and 
desperate conflict, nearly one thousand prisoners, including 
General Archer. (General Heth places the number captured 
at 60 or 70.) General Archer was captured by Private Pat- 
rick Maloney, Company G, of the Second Wisconsin. Malo- 
ney was subsequently killed." "On the left," says General 
Heth, "Davis' Brigade advanced driving the enemy and cap- 
turing his batteries, but was unable to hold the position, the 
enemy concentrating on his front and flank an overwhelming 
force. The Brigade held its position until every field ofiicer 
save two was shot down." By reference to General Wads- 
worth's report, it is seen that it was Cutler's Brigade, assisted 
by Second Maine Battery that was attacked by Davis' Bri- 
gade. General Wadsworth says : "The right became sharply 
engaged before the line was formed. At this time, 10:15 a. 
m., our gallant leader (General John F. Reynolds, command- 
ing the First Corps, Army of the Potomac) fell mortally 
wounded. The regiments encountered heavy force, were out- 
numbered, outflanked and after a resolute contest, fell back 
in good order to Seminary Ridge near town. As they fell 
back, followed by the enemy, the Fourteenth ISTew York State 
Militia, Sixth Wisconsin and Ninety-fifth Wew York Volun- 
teers, gallantly charged on the advancing enemy and captured 
a large number of prisoners, including two entire regiments 
with their fiags." Lieutenant-Colonel Rufus R. Dawes, com- 
manding the Sixth Wisconsin, says in his report: "Major 
John A. Blair, commanding the Second Mississippi Volun- 
teers, upon my demand, surrendered his sword and regiment 
to me, 7 officers and 225 men." 

From this severe round, to use a pugilist's expression, both 
sides took a breathing spell and reformed to renew the at- 
tack. Says General Heth : "The enemy had now been felt 
and the division now was formed in line of battle on the right 

346 North Caroijna Troops, 1861-'65. 

of the road as follows. Archer's, now commanded by Colonel 
B. D. Fry, of the Thirteenth Alabama, on the right; Petti- 
grew in the centre, and Brockenborough on the left. Davis 
Brigade was kept oh the left of the road to collect its strag- 
glers ; from its shattered condition it was not deemed advisable 
to bring it into action again on that day." It did, however, par- 
ticipate later in the action. After resting in line for an hour 
or more, orders came to attack the enemy in my front with 
the notification that Pender's Division would support me." 
Let us glance a moment at the character, numbers and posi- 
tion of the enemy which General Heth was now to assault 
with his two sound and one crippled brigade, and make, con- 
sidering the fierceness with which it was made, the obstinacy 
with which it was met and the fearful loss in killed and 
wounded sustained on both sides, the most notable charge in 
all the battles of the war between the States. 

A recent writer, John M. Vanderslice, author of a work 
called "Gettysburg. Then and ISTow," a gallant Union sol- 
dier, places the relative positions of the opposing forces at 11 
a. m., 1 July, 1863, as follows: Heth's division occupied the 
extreme right, with Archer's Brigade on the right ; next Pet- 
tigrew's, then Brockenborough's, then Davis'. Facing these 
Confederate troops, there was Meredith's Iron Brigade, occu- 
pying McPherson's woods. On the left of the woods was 
placed Biddle's Brigade and on the right of the woods was 
Stone's Brigade. The One Hundred and Fifty-first Penn- 
sylvania Regiment of Biddle's Brigade was in reserve, so 
there were three regiments of that Brigade with Cooper's 
Battery in the action at the beginning. These several bri- 
gades were organized as follows: Meredith's Iron Brigade, 
Nineteenth Indiana, Twenty-fourth Michigan, Second, Sixth 
and Seventh Wisconsin Regiments 

Biddle's Brigade, Eightieth New York, One Hundred and 
Twenty-first, One Hundred and Forty-second and One Hun- 
dred and Fifty-first Pennsylvania Regiments. 

Stone's Brigade, One Hundred and Forty-third, One Hun- 
dred and Forty-ninth and One Himdred and Fiftieth Penn- 
sylvania Regiments. 

These regiments in these brigades were posted as follows : 

Twenty-Sixth Regiment. 347 

Counting from left to right. Biddle's extreme left regi- 
ment One Hundred and Twentieth Pennsylvania. Next on 
right Eightieth New York, then Cooper's Battery, then One 
Hundred and Forty-second Pennsylvania. Meredith's Iron 
Brigade, extreme left regiment Nineteenth Indiana; next 
Twenty-fourth Michigan, next Seventh Wisconsin, and on 
the extreme right Second Wisconsin. The Sixth Wisconsin 
was in reserve. Stone's Brigade was not engaged with any of 
Pettigrew's men, but confronted the remnants of Davis' Bri- 
gade and the Forty-seventh and Fifty-fifth Virginia Regi- 
ments of Brockenborough's. Archer's Brigade on the Con- 
federate extreme right overlapped Biddle's Brigade on the 
Fedeiral extreme left, but Pettigrew's Brigade of four regi- 
ments, being in full ranks, and Biddle's three regiments not 
large, the two left regiments of Pettigrew's lapped over and 
confronted the left of the Iron Brigade, bringing the Twen- 
ty-sixth North Carolina Regiment with its 800 muskets in 
front of the Nineteenth Indiana and the Twenty-fourth Mich- 
igan, numbering together 784, rank and file. 

The position of the Iron Brigade in McPherson's woods 
was not a straight line ; the Nineteenth Indiana and Twenty- 
foixrth Michigan formed nearly a straight line parallel with 
Willoughby Run, but its next regiment, the Seventh Wiscon- 
sin, on the right of the Twenty-fourth Michigan, was formed 
obliquely to the rear to confront an enemy attacking from its 
right flank, and also so as not to get outside of the protection 
of the woods, which General Doiibleday says in his report 
"possessed all the advantages of a redoubt." Then on the 
right of the Seventh Wisconsin, the Second Wisconsin was 
formed connecting with the left of Stone's Brigade. Thus it 
appears the Twenty-sixth North Carolina regiment faced the 
front of the Iron Brigade, which consisted of the two regi- 
ments, the Nineteenth Indiana and the Twenty-fourth Mich- 
igan, but the Confederate troops charging these two regi- 
ments in the woods were subjected to the fire from the men of 
Biddle's Brigade and of Cooper's battery on their right ; and 
it was from the fire of this battery, one of the best batteries of 
the Federal forces, that the Twenty-sixth regiment suffered 

348 North Carolina Troops, 1861 -'65. 

severely, especially while charging across Willoughby Eun, 
and reforming thereafter. 

The situation then at 2 o'clock p. m., 1 July, 1863, is 
this: The Iron Brigade in line of battle in McPherson's 
woods is waiting the assault of Pettigrew's brigade, with the 
Twenty-sixth JSTorth Carolina Eegiment of said brigade 
directly in their front, separated by Willoughby Run and 
disant about 300 yards. 

The regiments of Pettigrew's Brigade were in line by 
echelon, the Twenty-sixth being in the advance and the Elev- 
enth on its right some distance in the rear ; the Forty-seventh 
regiment in rear of the Eleventh, and the Fifty-second in 
rear of the Forty-seventh. This made the Confederate troops 
appear to the enemy's vision, as in several lines of battle, 
whereas there was only one line of battle, and as the fight 
progressed, these regiments came up successively and formed 
one single line in the attack. They had, however, as their 
support Pender's division, some distance in the rear. 


The author of the History of the Twenty-fourth Michigan 
Regiment of this Brigade, thus accounts for its name and 
gives its record. Its cognomen, "Iron Brigade," was given 
them by General McClellan for intrepidity in the battle of 
South Mountain, 15 September, 1862. In proportion to its 
numbers it sustained the heaviest loss of any brigade in the 
Union army. Its loss at Gettysburg, first day's fight, was 
1,153 out of 1,883 engaged, or 61 per cent. The Second Wis- 
consin sustained the greatest percentage of loss in killed and 
wounded of all the 2,000 regiments in the Union army. Its 
loss at Gettysburg was 77 per cent, of those engaged. 

The Sixth Wisconsin had a total loss of 867 killed and 
wounded during the war, and the officer in command of the 
Second Mississippi Regiment of Davis' Brigade with 232 of 
his regiment and its colors, surrendered to this regiment in 
the early part of the first day's fight. 

The Seventh Wisconsin met with the greatest loss of any 
regiment in the Union army at the battles of the Wilder- 
ness, and had 1,016 men killed and wounded during the war. 

Twenty-Sixth Regiment. 349 

The Nineteenth Indiana in its first battle at Manassas, sus- 
tained a loss of 61 per cent., 259 out of 423 engaged, and the 
Twenty-fourth Michigan sustained the greatest loss of any 
regiment in the Union army at Gettysburg, 80 per cent, viz. 
397 out of 496. 

m'pheeson's woods. 

General Doubleday says : "On the most westerly of these 
ridges (McPherson's) General Reynolds had directed his line 
to be formed. A small piece of woods (in the shape of a rec- 
tangular parallelogram) cut the line of battle in about two 
equal parts. These woods possessed all the advantage of a 
redoubt strengthening the centre of the line and enfilading 
the enemy's columns should they advance in the open spaces 
on either side. I deemed the extremity of the woods which 
extended to the summit of the ridge, to be the key of the 
position, and urged that portion of Meredith's (Iron) Bri- 
gade — the western men assigned to its defense — to hold it to 
the last extremity. Full of the memory of their past achieve- 
ments, they replied cheerfully and proudly : 'If we can't hold 
it, where will you find the men who can ?' " 

Major John T. Jones, of the Twenty-sixth North Caro- 
lina Regiment, who commanded Pettigrew's Brigade after the 
third day's fight, and made the ofiicial report for the brigade, 
dated 9 Axigust, 1863, thus describes the field: 

"In our front was a wheat field about a fourth of a mile 
wide, then came a branch (Willoughby Run) with thick un- 
derbrush and briers skirting the banks. Beyond this again 
was an open field with the exception of a wooded hill (Mc- 
Pherson's woods) directly in front of the Twenty-sixth Regi- 
ment, and about covering its front. Skirmishers being 
thrown out, we remained in line of battle until 2 p. m., when 
orders to advance were given." 


The Twenty-sixth was the extreme left regiment of Petti- 
grew's Brigade. It directly faced McPherson's woods and 
its front about covered the width of the woods. The Iron 
■ Brigade occupied these woods ; the open space on the left of 

350 North Carolina Troops, 1861-'65. 

the woods (Confederate right) was defended by Biddle's 
Pennsylvania Brigade of four regiments with Cooper's Bat- 
tery in the centre, the open space on the right of the woods 
(Confederate left) was defended by Stone's Pennsylvania 
Brigade with three regiments. Stewart's Battery B, Fourth 
United States Artillery attached to the Iron Brigade, was 
posted on the right and rear supporting Stone's Brigade, but 
in a position to sweep any part of the iield. A ITorthern 
writer says : "There is no doubt, more men fell at Stewart's 
guns than in any other battery in the Union armies." Com- 
pany F, of the Twenty-sixth Regiment, was on the left of the 
colors. Company E on the right and Companies A and G 
near the centre. The position of these companies nearest the 
flag accounts for their disproportionate losses in the battle. 

A member of the Twenty-sixth regiment thus describes 
the situation : "While we were still lying down impatiently 
waiting to begin the engagement, the right of the regiment 
was greatly annoyed by some sharpshooters stationed on the 
top of a large old farm house to our right. Colonel Burgwyn 
ordered a man sent forward to take them down, when Lieuten- 
ant J. A. Lowe, of Company G, volunteered. Creeping for- 
ward along a fence until he got a position from whence he 
could see the men behind the chimney who were doing the 
shooting, he soon silenced them. 

During all this time. Hill was bringing up his Corps and 
placing it in position. Colonel Burgwyn became quite impa- 
tient to engage the enemy, saying we were losing precious 
time ; but Hill did not come, and we had nothing to do but to 
wait for his arrival on the field. However, we were keeping 
our men as quiet and comfortable as possible, sending details 
to the rear for water, and watching the movements of the en- 
emy. The enemy's shai*pshooters occasionally reminded us 
that we had better cling close to the bosom of old mother 

Many words of encouragement were spoken and some jokes 
were indulged in. Religious services were not held, as they 
should have been, owing to the absence of our Chaplains. All 
this time the enemy were moving with great rapidity. 
Directly in our front across the wheat field was a wooded hill 

Twenty-Sixth Regiment. 351 

(McPherson's woods). On this hill the enemy placed what we 
were afterwards informed was their famous "Iron Brigade." 
They wore tall, hell-crowned black hats, which made them 
conspicuous in the line. The sun was now high in the heav- 
ens. General Ewell's Corps had come up on our left and had 
engaged the enemy. Never was a grander sight beheld. The 
lines extended more than a mile, all distinctly visible to us. 
When the battle waxed hot, now one of the armies would be 
driven, now the other, while neither seemed to gain any ad- 
vantage. The roar of artillery, the crack of musketry and 
the shouts of the combatants, added grandeur and solemnity 
to the scene. Suddenly there came down the line the long 
awaited command "Attention." The time of this command 
could not have been more inopportune ; for our line had in- 
spected the enemy and we well knew the desperateness of the 
charge we were to make ; but with the greatest quickness the 
regiment obeyed. All to a man were at once up and ready, 
every officer at his post, Colonel Burgwyn in the center, Lieu- 
tenant-Colonel Lane on the right. Major Jones on the left. 
Our gallant standard-bearer, J. B. Mansfield, at once stepped 
to his position — four paces to the front, and the eight color 
guards to their proper places. At the command "Forward, 
march !" all to a man stepped off, apparently as willingly and 
as proudly as if they were on review. The enemy at once 
opened fire, killing and wounding some, but their aim was 
too high to be very effective. All kept the step and made as 
pretty and perfect a line as regiment ever made, every man 
endeavoring to keep dressed on the colors. We opened fire on 
the enemy. On, on, we went, our men yet in perfect line, until 
we reached the branch (Willoughby's Run) in the ravine. 
Here the briers, reeds and underbrush made it difficult to pass, 
and there was some crowding in the centre, and the enemy's 
artillery (Cooper's Battery) on our right, getting an enfilade 
fire upon us, our loss was frightful ; but our men crossed in 
good order and immediately were in proper position again, 
and up the hill we went, firing now with better execution. 

The engagement was becoming desperate. It seemed that 
the bullets were as thick as hail stones in a storm. At his 
post on the right of the regiment and ignorant as to what was 

352 North Carolina Troops, ]861-'65. 

taking place on the left, Lieutenant-Colonel Lane hurries to 
the center. He is met by Colonel Burgwyn, who informs 
him "it is all right in the centre and on the left; we have 
broken the first line of the enemy," and the reply comes, "we 
are in line on the right, Colonel." 

At this time the colors have been cut down ten times, the 
color guard all killed or wounded. We have now struck the 
second line of the enemy where the fighting is the fiercest and 
the killing the deadliest. Suddenly Captain W. W. Mc- 
Creery, Assistant Inspector General of the Brigade, rushes 
forward and speaks to Colonel Burgwyn. He bears him a 
message. "Tell him," says General Pettigrew, "his regiment 
has covered itself with glory today." Delivering these en- 
couraging words of his commander, Captain McCreery, who 
had always contended that the Twenty-sixth would fight bet- 
ter than any regiment in the brigade, seizes the flag, waves it 
aloft and advancing to the front, is shot through the heart 
and falls, bathing the flag in his life's blood. Lieutenant 
George Wilcox, of Company H, now rushes forward, and pull- 
ing the flag from under the dead hero, advances with it. In 
a few steps he also falls with two wotinds in his body. 

The lines hesitates ; the crisis is reached ; the colors must 
advance. Telling Lieutenant-Colonel Lane of the words of 
praise from their brigade commander just heard, with orders 
to impart it to the men for their encouragement. Colonel Bur- 
gwyn seizes the flag from the nerveless grasp of the gallant 
Wilcox, and advances, giving the order "Dress on the colors." 
Private Frank Honeycutt, of Company B, rushes fromi the 
ranks and asks the honor to advance the flag. Turning to 
hand the colors to this brave young soldier. Colonel Burgwyn 
is hit by a ball on the left side, which, passing through both 
lungs, the force of it ttirns him around and, falling, he is 
caught in the folds of the flag and carries it with him to the 
ground. The daring Honeycut survives his Colonel but a 
moment and shot through the head, now for the thirteenth 
time the regimental colors are in the dust. 

Kneeling by his side, Lieutenant-Colonel Lane stops for a 
moment to ask : "My dear Colonel, are you severely hurt ?" 
A bowed head and motion to the left side and a pressure of 

Twenty-Sixth Regiment. 353 

the hand is the only response; but "he looked as pleasantly as 
if victory was on his brow." Reluctantly leaving his dying 
commander to go where duty calls him, Lieutenant-Colonel 
Lane hastens to the right, meets Captain McLauchlin, of 
Company K, tells him of General Pettigrew's words of praise, 
but not of his Colonel's fall ; gives the order "Close your men 
quickly to the left. I am going to give them the bayonet" ; 
hurries to the left, he gives a similar order, and returning to 
the center finds the colors still down. Colonel Burgwyn and 
the brave boy private, Franklin Honeycut, lying by them. 
Colonel Lane raises the colors. Lieutenant Blair, Company 
I, rushes out, saying: "No man can take these colors and 
live." Lane replies : "It is my time to take them now" ; and 
advancing with the flag, shouts at the top of his voice: 
"Twenty-sixth, follow me." The men answer with a yell and 
press forward. Several lines of the enemy have given away, 
but a most formidable line yet remains, which seems deter- 
mined to hold its position. Volleys of musketry are fast 
thinning out those left and only a skeleton line now remains. 
To add to the horrors of the scene, the battle smoke has set- 
tled down over the combatants making it almost as dark as 
night. With a cheer the men obey the command to advance, 
and rush on and upward to the summit of the hill, when 
the last line of the enemy gives way and sullenly retires from 
the field through the village of Gettysburg to the heights be- 
yond the cemetery. 

Just as the last shots are firing, a sergeant in the Twenty- 
fourth Michigan Regiment (now the President of the Iron 
Brigade Veteran Association, Mr. Charles H. McConnell, of 
Chicago), attracted by the commanding figure of Colonel 
Lane carrying the colors, lingers to take a farewell shot, and 
resting his musket on a tree, he waits his opportunity. When 
about thirty steps distant, as Colonel Lane turns to see if his 
regiment is following him, a ball fired by this brave and reso- 
lute adversary, strikes him in the back of the neck just below 
the brain, which crashes through his jaw and mouth, and for 
the fourteenth and last time the colors are down. The red 


354 North Carolina Troops, 1861-'65. 

field was won, but at what a cost to the victor as well as to 
the vanquished. 


Pettigrew's brigade was opposed on the first day at Get- 
tysburg to the best troops in the Federal army, viz : Biddle's 
Pennsylvania and Meredith's (Iron) Brigade of Western 
troops. The Twenty-sixth Eegiment fought at one or an- 
other period of the charge, the Nineteenth Indiana and 
Twenty-fourth Michigan, of the Iron Brigade, and the One 
Hundred and Fifty-first Pennsylvania, of Biddle's Brigade, 
which came to the support of the Federal second line. Says 
the author of "Gettysburg, Then and Now," published in 
1899 : "While the fighting had been going on upon the Fed- 
eral right Pettigrew also made a desperate attack on Biddle's 
Brigade. The Fifty-second North Carolina overlapping the 
line had attacked the One Hundred and Twenty-first Penn- 
sylvania on the left fiank, compelling it to change front and 
the Forty-seventh and Eleventh North Carolina encountered 
the Twentieth New York and One Hundred and Forty-sec- 
ond Pennsylvania, while at the same time the Twenty-sixth 
North Carolina fighting its way up the woods, was penetrat- 
ing a gap between the One Hundred and Forty-second Penn- 
sylvania and the Nineteenth Indiana, of Meredith's (Iron) 
Brigade, the left of which had been forced back. 

At this juncture the One Hundred and Fifty-first Penn- 
sylvania which was in reserve near the Seminary, rushed to 
the front and met the Twenty-sixth North Carolina in one of 
the bloodiest struggles that took place on the field, as will be 
noticed when the losses of these regiments are stated." 

Quoting again from Major Jones' official report of the part 
taken by Pettigrew's Brigade in the battle of Gettysburg, he 

"The Brigade moved forward in beautiful style, in quick 
time, on a line with the brigade on our left commanded by 
Colonel Brockenborough. When nearing the branch (Wil- 
loughby Kun) the enemy poured a galling fire into the left 
of the brigade from the opposite bank where they had massed 
in heavy force, while we were in line of battle awaiting the 

Twenty-Sixth Kegiment. 355 

order to advance. The Forty-seventh and Fifty-second North 
Carolina, although exposed to a hot fire from artillery and 
infantry, lost but few men in comparison with the Eleventh 
and Twenty-sixth. On went the command across the branch 
and up the opposite slope, driving the enemy at the point of 
the bayonet back upon- their second line. 

"The second line was encountered by the Twenty-sixth reg- 
iment, while the other regiments vs^ere exposed to a heavy ar- 
tillery shelling. The enemy's single line in the field on our 
right, was engaged principally with the right of the Eleventh 
jSTorth Carolina and the Forty-seventh Worth Carolina. The 
enemy did not perceive the Fifty-second North Carolina, 
which flanked their left until the Fifty-second discovered 
themselves by a raking and destructive fire by which the en- 
emy's line was broken. 

"On the second line the fighting was terrible, our men ad- 
vancing, the enemy stubbornly resisting, until the two lines 
were pouring volleys into each other at a distance not greater 
than twenty paces. At last the enemy were compelled to give 
way. They again made a stand in the woods, and the third 
time they were driven from their positions losing a stand of 
colors which was taken by the Twenty-sixth regiment, but 
owing to some carelessness, they were left behind and were 
picked up by some one else." 

Let us quote now from the other side in obedience to the 
maxim "Fas est ah hoste docen." Colonel Henry A. Morrow, 
Twenty -fourth Michigan, a native of Warren ton, Va., who as 
a young man moved to Detroit, Mich., and was a City Judge 
there in 1862, and raised the regiment of which he was ap- 
pointed to the command, in his report of the battle, says : "I 
gave directions to the men to withhold their fire until the en- 
emy should come within short range of our guns. This was 
done. Their advance was not checked and they came on with 
rapid strides yelling like demons. The Nineteenth Indiana, 
on our left, fought most gallantly, but was forced back. The 
left of my regiment was now exposed to an enfilade fire and 
orders were given for this portion of the line to swing back so 
as to face the enemy now on our flank. Pending the execu- 

356 North Carolina Troops, 1861-65. 

tion of this movement, the enemy compelled me to fall back 
and take a new position a short distance in the rear. 

"The second line was promptly formed and we made a des- 
perate resistance, but we were forced to fall back and take up 
a third position beyond a slight ravine. My third color- 
bearer was killed on this line. Augustus Ernst, Company K. 

"By this time the ranks were so diminished that scarcely a 
fourth of the force taken into action could be rallied. Cap- 
tain Andrew Wagner, Company F, one of the color guard, 
took the colors and was ordered by me to plant them in a po- 
sition to which I designed to rally the men. He was wounded 
in the breast and left the field. I now took the flag from the 
ground where it had fallen and was rallying the remnant of 
my regiment, when Private William Kelly, of Company E, 
took the colors from my hands, remarking as he did so, 'The 
Colonel of the Twenty-fourth Michigan shall never carry the 
colors while I am alive.' He was killed instantly. Private 
Lilburn A. Spaulding, Company K, seized the colors and 
bore them for a time. Subsequently I took them from him to 
rally the men and kept them until I was wounded. 

"We had inflicted severe loss on the enemy, but jve were un- 
able to maintain our position, and were forced back step by 
step, contesting every foot of the ground to the barricade west 
of the Seminary building. The field over which we fought 
from our first line of battle in McPherson's woods to the 
barricade near the Seminary, was strewn with the killed and 

"Our losses were very large, exceeding perhaps the losses 
sustained by any regiment of equal size in a single engage- 
ment of this or any other war. The strength of the regi- 
ment on 1 July, 1863, was 28 officers and 468 rank and 
file, total 496. We lost, killed 8 officers and 59 men. 
Wounded, 13 officers and 197 men. Missing or captured, 3 
officers and 83 men. ISTearly all our wounded, myself among 
them, fell into the hands of the enemy. The flag of the regi- 
ment was carried by no less than nine persons, four of the 
number were killed and three wounded. All the color guard 
were killed or wounded." 

Returning to Confederate sources for accounts of the he- 

Twenty-Sixth Regiment. 357 

roic conduct of the Twenty-sixtli North Carolina Regiment, 
I quote from his official report of the battle, made by Major- 
General Heth, commanding the division : 

"PettigreVs Brigade under the leadership of that gallant 
officer and accomplished scholar, Brigadier-General J. John- 
ston Pettigrew (now lost to his country), fought as well and 
displayed as heroic courage, as it was ever my fortune to wit- 
ness on a battlefield. The number of its own gallant dead 
and wounded as well as the large number of the enemy's dead 
and wounded left on the field over which it fought, attests bet- 
ter than any communication of mine, the gallant part it 
played on 1 July. In one instance, when the Twenty-sixth 
North Carolina Regiment encountered the second line of the 
enemy, its (Twenty-sixth Regiment's) dead marked its line 
of battle with the accuracy of a line at dress parade." 

Under date of 9 July, 1863, less than a week before his 
fatal wounding at Falling Waters (14 July, 1863), General 
Pettigrew writes Governor Vance as follows: "Knowing 
that you would be anxious to hear from your old regiment, the 
Twenty-sixth, I embrace an opportunity to write you a hasty 
note. It cavered itself with glory. It fell to the lot of the 
Twenty-sixth to charge one of the strongest positions possible. 
They drove three, and we have every reason to believe, five 
regiments out of the woods with a gallantry unsurpassed. 
Their loss has been heavy, very heavy, but the missing are on 
the battlefield and in the hospital. Both on the first and 
third days yoiir old command did honor to your associa- 
tion with them and to the State they represent." 

Captain J. J. Yoimg, regimental Quartermaster of the 
Twenty-sixth regiment, under date of 4 July, 1863, writes 
Governor Vance as follows : 

"The heaviest conflict of the war has taken place in this 
vicinity. It commenced July 1st, and raged furiously until 
late last night. Heth's Division, A. P. Hill's Corps, opened 
the ball and Pettigrew's Brigade was the advance. We went 
in with over 800 men in the regiment. There came out of 
the first day's fight 216 all told, unhurt. Yesterday they 
were again engaged, and now have only about 80 men for 
duty. To give you an idea of the frightful loss in officers, 

358 North Carolina Troops, 1861-'65. 

Heth being wounded, Pettigrew commanded the division 
(Pettigrew had the bones of his left hand crushed by a grape 
shot, but remained on the iield with his hand in splints), and 
Major Jones our brigade. (Jones was also slightly wounded, 
but refused to leave the field). Eleven men were shot down 
the first day with the colors (afterwards ascertained to te 
fourteen). Yesterday they were- lost. Poor Colonel Bur- 
gwyn was shot through both lungs and died shortly after- 
ward. His loss is great, for he had few equals of his age. 
Captain W. W. McCreery, Inspector on General Pettigrew's 
staff, was shot through the heart and instantly killed. As- 
sistant Adjutant-General IST. Collins Hughes mortally 
wounded. Lieutenant Walter M. Eobertson, Brigade Ord- 
nance Officer, severely wounded ; with them, Lieutenant-Col- 
onel Lane through the neck, jaw and mouth, I fear mortally; 
Adjutant James B. Jordan in the hip, severely; Captain J. 
T. Adams, shoxilder, seriously ; Stokes McRae, thigh broken ; 
Captain William Wilson, killed; Lieutenants W. W. Rich- 
ardson and J. B. HoUoway have died of their wounds. It is 
thought Lieutenant M. McLeod and Captain ]^f. G. Bradford 
will die; Captain J. A. Jarrett, wounded in face and hand. 
Yesterday Captain S. P. Wagg was shot through by grape, 
and instantly killed. Alex. Saunders was wounded and J. 
R. Emerson left on the field dead. Captain H. C. Albright is 
the only Captain left in the regiment. Lieutenants J. A. 
Lowe, M. B. Blair, T. J. Cureton (this ofiicer was wounded 
in shoulder), and C. M. Sudderth are the only officers not 
WQunded. Major Jones was struck by a fragment of a shell 
on the 1st and knocked down and stunned on the 3rd, but re- 
fused to leave the field. 

"Our whole division numbers only 1,500 or 1,600 effective 
men as officially reported, but, of course, a good many will 
still come in. The division at the beginning niunbered about 
8,000 effective men. Yesterday in falling back we had to 
leave the wounded, hence the uncertainty of a good many 
being killed yesterday evening." 

Going into particulars of losses : Company F, from Cald- 
well County, commanded by Captain R. M. Tuttle (now a 
Presbyterian minister at Collierstown, Va.), went into the 

Twenty-Sixth Regiment. 359 

battle with three officers and 88 muskets. Thirty-one were 
killed or died of wounds received in the battle. Sixty were 
wounded, fifty-nine of whom were disabled for duty. Ser- 
geant Robert Hudspeth was the only man able to report for 
duty after the fight, and he had been knocked down and 
stunned by the explosion of a shell. In this company were 
three sets of twin brothers, at the close of the battle, five of 
the six lay dead on the field. 

Companies I and F of this regiment were from Caldwell 
County. The men composing these companies had been 
reared along the slopes of the Great Grandfather Mountain. 
They had been accustomed from boyhood to hunt deer, the 
bear, and the wolf in the lonely forests surrounding their 
homes. They were enured to hardship, self-reliant, indefat- 
igable and insensible to danger. Company F was on the left 
of the colors, and Company E on the right. This latter com- 
pany (Company E) suffered nearly as badly as Company F, 
It carried 82 officers and men into the fi^ht, and brought out 
only two untouched. 

Going into the particxilars of the loss of Company E, 18 
men were Icilled or mortally wotinded, and 52 wounded on 
the first day, and on the third day only two escaped. Every 
officer in the company was wounded. 

Company G lost 12 men killed and 58 wounded and miss- 
ing, but the losses on each day are not given by Captain Al- 

Company H had 17 Idlled and 55 wounded in the two days 
battles. ^ 

The men composing these three companies were from the 
historic counties of Chatham and Moore. Their ancestors 
had fought at Alamance and Moore's Bridge and Guilford 
Court House, and from their youth up they had handled the 
rifle in hunting the deer and wild turkey, and as General 
Pettigrew said of them, "they shot as if they were shooting at 

Company A, from Ashe County, the same class of moim- 
taineers of whom we have spoken above in referring to Com- 
panies F and I, took into action 92, rank and file. Eleven 
were killed and 66 wounded in the first day's fight, and on the 

360 North Carolina Troops, 1861-'65. 

third day, its Captain (Wagg) was killed, and ten wounded 
and missing out of fourteen taken into the fight. Lieutenant 
J. A. Polk, commanding Company K when the muster roll 
was signed 31 August, 1863, states every officer was wounded 
at Gettysburg, 16 men killed and 50 wounded and missing. 
He does not give the number taken into action. 

As to the loss sustained by the regiment as a whole, we may 
rely upon the statements of Northern writers who have com- 
piled them from the official records in the War Department 
at Washington, D. C. Colonel William F. Fox, of Albany, 
H. Y., in his book, "Regimental Losses in the Civil War," a 
work of recognized authority — places the loss of the Twenty- 
sixth Eegiment in the first day's fight at 86 killed and 502 
wounded, out of 800 taken into action. He says: "On the 
third day's fight in Pickett's charge, they lost 120, recorded 
as missing." In a letter to the writer dated 30 September, 
1889, Colonel Fox says: "My figures for the loss of the 
Twenty-sixth North Carolina at Grettysburg, are taken from 
the official report of Surgeon-General Lafayette Guild, C. S. 
A., who obtained his figures from the nominal lists of the 
killed and wounded made out in the field hospitals. In my 
opinion, the 120 missing should also be included in the killed 
and wounded; but as they were not so reported officially, I 
cannot substitute my opinion for official statistics. In a sec- 
ond edition, which is now going through the press, I added the 
losses for Bristoe Station, having obtained them from the War 
Department since the publication of the first edition. In 
these losses for Bristoe, I was surprised to see that the Twen- 
ty-sixth North Carolina again heads the list. I took great pains 
to verify the loss of the Twenty-sixth North Carolina at Get- 
tysburg, for I am inclined to believe that in time this regi- 
ment will become as well known in history as the Light Bri- 
gade at Balaklava." 

Colonel Fox further states in his book that this loss of the 
Twenty-sixth Regiment was the greatest in numbers and 
greatest in per cent, of those taken into action of all the regi- 
ments on either side in the Civil War in any one battle. Mr. 
John M. Vanderslice, Director of the Gettysburg Memorial 
Association, who was a private in Company D, Eighth Penn- 
sylvania, was gazetted for distinguished services in action at 

Twenty-Sixth Regiment. 


Hatcher's Enin, 6 February, 1865, in his book, "Gettysburg, 
Then and Now" — writes thus: "The loss of the Twenty- 
sixth North Carolina Regiment should be 584 on the first 
day and of the remaining 216, 130 were lost on the third, its 
total loss in the battle being 588 killed and wounded and 126 
missing out of 800 engaged. This brigade (Pettigrews's) 
lost over 500 additional on the third day." 

As a matter of historical interest, I append a list of the 
losses in the several brigades that fought in and around Mc- 
Pherson's woods on the first day at Gettysburg: 




r Meredith s Iron Brigade- 

2 Wisconsin . 

6 Wisonsin . 

7 Wisconsin 
19 Indiana, . 
34 Michigan 

Biddle's Brigade— 

80 New York 
131 Pennsylvania . 
143 Pennsylvania. 
151 Pennsylvania . 

Stone's Brigade . . 


L Gamble's Cavalry. 

f Davis' Mississippi Brigade 

Archer's Tennessee Brigade 

Brockenborough's Virginia Brigade 

Pettigrew's No-th Carolina Brigade — 

11 North Carolina Regitnent. 
26 North Carolina Regiment. 
47 North Carolina Regiment. 
52 North Carolina Regiment. 

— O 







J 588 
] 161 













362 North Carolina Troops, 1861-'65. 

THIRD day's battle AT GETTTSBUEG^ 3 JULT, 1863. 

Quoting again from Major John T. Jones' report: "The 
night of the first day's fight (1 July, 1863) the brigade 
bivouacked in the woods they had occupied previously to 
making the charge. We remained in this position until the 
evening of the 2nd, when we moved about a mile to our right 
and took position in rear of our batteries facing the works 
of the enemy on Cemetery Hill. We remained here until 
about 12 o'clock on the 3rd, when our batteries opened upon 
the enemy's works. About 2 o'clock we were ordered to ad- 

A member of the regiment thus writes : 

"On the second day, Pettigrew's entire brigade rested. Gen- 
eral Pettigrew showed great energy in recruiting his thinned 
ranks. He commanded that all those not too severely wounded 
shoiild return to active duty and armed all the cooks and extra 
duty men and every other man in any way connected with the 
regiment. The regimental band (Captain Mickey's band) was 
ordered to play inspiring music to cheer the soldiers, whose 
spirits were depressed at the loss of so many of their com- 
rades, and in every way the condition of things was enliv- 
ened. On the evening of the 2nd, General Pettigrew marched 
his command to the place in the line from which the grand 
charge was to be made next day. To the great surprise of 
every one, the brigade seemed as ready for the fray on the 
morning of the third day, as it had been on that of the 


Quoting from the author of "Gettysburg, Then and ISTow" : 
"There were two hours of comparative silence until 1 o'clock 
p. m. when the signal gun was fired from Seminary Ridge, 
by the Washington Artillery of ISTew Orleans, and there was 
opened between the 138 Confederate and the 80 Federal guns 
the heaviest and most terrible artillery fire ever witnessed 
upon any battle field in this country, if upon any in the world. 
It opened so suddenly that the men were torn to pieces before 
they could rise from the ground upon which they had been 

Twenty-Sixth Regiment. 363 

lolling. Some were stricken down with cigars in their mouths. 
One young soldier was killed with the portrait of his sister in 
his hand. The earth was thrown up in clouds. Splinters 
flew from fences and rocks, and mingled with the roar of the 
artillery were the groans of wounded men and the fierce 
neighing of mangled horses. 

"In the meantime the fresh troops of Pickett's Confederate 
division had been massed under cover of the slight ridge run- 
ning between Seminary Ridge and the Emmettsburg road in 
rear of the artillery. While Pettigrew's Division (formerly 
Heth's) was massed to their rear and left behind Seminary 
Ridge. In the rear of the right of Pickett were the brigades 
of Wilcox and Perry, with that of Wright in reserve. 

"In the rear of the right of Pettigrew were the brigades of 
Scales, and Lane, of Pender's Division, commanded by 
Trimble. When the artillery ceased firing, these troops 
moved from behind their cover and advanced majestically 
across the field towards Cemetery Hill. Pickett's Division 
on the right, Pettigrew's on its left and rear en echelon, sup- 
ported by Scales' and Lane's brigades. Pickett's division 
was in line as follows : Kemper's Brigade on the right, Gar- 
nett on his left, while Armistead was in the rear. On the 
left of Pickett were the four brigades of Pettigrew's division. 
Archer's Brigade, commanded by Frye, next to Pickett ; Pet- 
tigrew's, commanded by Marshall, of the Fifty-second ISTorth 
Carolina Regiment, next on the left ; Davis next, and Brock- 
enborough on the extreme left. 

"In the rear of Frye and Marshall, there were Scales' Bri- 
gade, commanded by Lowrance, and Lane's Brigade, these 
under Major-General Trimble, from Maryland. Together the 
assaulting columns numbered 14,000. The point of direc- 
tion was the small copse of trees to the left of Ziegler's Grove, 
held by Gibbon's Division of the Second Corps. After ad- 
vancing some distance the three brigades of Pickett's division 
made a half wheel to the left in order to move toward the ob- 
jective point. McGilvery's forty guns (Federal artillery) 
on the left, with those of the two batteries on Round Top, 
opened a terrible fire upon them. As the division neared the 
wall, it was joined on its left by Frye's Brigade, and at the 

364 North Carolina Troops, 1861-65. 

same time Lowrance's North Carolina Brigade rushed from 
its rear and joined Frye's and Garnett at the angle of the 
wall. The two guns of Cushing's battery at the wall were 

"The left of that charging column under Pettigrew and 
Trimble, suffered as severely as the right under Pickett. 
Great injustice has been done these troops by the prevailing 
erroneous impressions that they failed to advance with those 
of Pickett. 

"Such is not the fact, as they were formed behind Seminary 
Kidge they had over 1,300 yards to march under the terri- 
ble fire to which they were exposed, while Pickett's Division 
being formed under cover of the intermediate ridge, had but 
900 yards to march under fire. At first, the assaulting col- 
umns advanced en echelon, but when they reached the Em- 
mettsburg road, they were on a line, and together they crossed 
the road. The left of Pettigrew's command becoming first 
exposed to the fearful enfilading fire upon their left flank 
from the Eighth Ohio, and other regiments of Hay's Division 
and of Woodruff's Battery and other troops, the men on thp+ 
part of the line (Brockenborough's Brigade) either broke to 
the rear or threw themselves on the ground for protection. 

"But Pettigrew's other brigades, Davis, Marshall andFrye, 
with the brigades of Lowrance and Lane, under Trimble, ad- 
vanced with Pickett to the stone wall and there fought desper- 
ately. As the assaulting column reached the wall, Wilcox's 
Alabama and Perry's Florida Brigade to the right, marching 
according to order, but becoming separated from Pickett, 
had resumed the march to the left, and were now advancing 
from the top of the crest, from behind which Pickett had 
emerged, directly towards McGilvery's batteries and the 
Third Corps, btit received by a severe fire from Stannard's 
Vermonters, who had changed front again, and exposed to a 
severe artillery fire and seeing the commands of Pickett, Pet- 
tigrew and Trimble repulsed, they withdrew under cover of 
the hill. Thus ended this reckless and ever renowned effort 
to carry Cemetery Hill by direct assault in the face of 100 
cannon and the Federal Army." 

Twenty-Sixth Regiment. 365 

Quoting from Major Jones' report, he says: 

"About 2 o'clock we were ordered to advance. It was an 
open field about three-quarters of a mile in width. In 
moving off there was some confusion in the line, owing to the 
fact that it had been ordered to close in on the right on Pick- 
ett's division, while that command gave way to the left. This 
was soon corrected, and the advance was made in perfect or- 
der. When about half across the intermediate space the ene- 
my opened on us a most destructive fire of grape and canister. 
When within about 250 or 300 yards of the stone wall behind 
which the enemy was posted, we were met by a perfect hail 
storm of lead from their small ar'ms. The brigade dashed on 
and many had reached the wall when we received a deadly vol- 
ley from the left. The whole line on the left had given way, 
and we were being rapidly flanked, and with our thinned 
ranks and in such a position it would have been folly to stand 
against such odds. 

"After this day's fight but one field officer was left in the 
brigade, and regiments that went in Avith Colonels came out 
commanded by Lieutenants." 

A member of the Twenty-sixth Regiment thus describes the 
charge : 

"As soon as the fire of the artillery ceased, General Pct- 
tigrew, his face lit up with the bright look it always wore 
when in battle, rode up to Colonel Marshall, in command of 
the brigade, and said: 'Now Colonel, for the honor of tne 
good Old JSTorth State. Forward.' Colonel Marshall promptly 
repeated the command, which taken up by the regimental 
commanders, the Twenty-sixth marched down the hill into 
the valley between the two lines. As the forward march con- 
tinued, our artillery would occasionally fire a shot over the 
heads of the troops to assure them that they had friends in 
the rear. 

"The brigade had not advanced far when the noble Mar- 
shall fell, and the command of the brigade devolved on Major 
Jones, of the Twenty-sixth, while that of the regiment on 
Captain S. W. Brewer, of Company E, a man who proved on 

366 North Carolina Troops, 1861-'65. 

that day as he has often since, that he was thoroughly quali- 
fied to lead. 

"The Confederate line was yet unbroken and still perfect, 
when about half a mile from their works the enemy's artillery 
opened fire, sweeping the field with grape and canister ; but 
the line crossed the lane (Emmettsburg road) in good order. 
When about 300 yards from their works the musketry of the 
enemy opened on us, but nothing daunted the brave men of 
the Twenty-sixth pressed quickly forward and when the regi- 
ment reached within about forty yards of the enemy's works, 
it had been reduced to a skirmish line. But the brave rem- 
nant still pressed ahead and the colors were triumphantly 
planted on the works by J. ii . Brooks and Daniel Thomas, of 
Company E, when a cry came from the left, and it was seen 
that the entire left of the line had been swept away. 

"The Twenty-sixth now exposed to a front and enfilade fire, 
there was no alternative but to retreat, and the order was ac- 
cordingly given. Captain Cureton, of Company B, and oth- 
ers, attempted to form the shattered remnants of the regiment 
in the lane (Emmettsburg road) but pressed by the enemy, 
the attempt was abandoned. 

General Pettigrew had his horse shot under him during the 
charge, and though woiinded (bones of his left hand shattered 
by a grape shot) he was one of the last men of his division to 
leave, and was assisted off the field by Captain Cureton, 
whom he ordered to rally and form Heth's division behind the 
guns for their siipport. Pettigrew's brigade promptly re- 
sponded and formed when told where to go. 

"By night a very good skirmish line had been collected and 
the gallant old Twenty-sixth had 67 privates and 3 officers 
present on the night of 8 July, 1863, out of 800 who went 
into battle on the morning of 1 July. In this enumeration 
the cooks and extra duty men and others who had been armed 
are not counted. These 70 officers and men remained to sup- 
port the artillery that night and all next day." 

As of historical interest, I append the losses of Pickett's, 
Pettigrew's and Trimble's Division on this third day's fight 
at Gettysburg. 

Twenty-Sixth Regiment. 


Pickett's Division — 
Garnett's Brigads, 8, 18, 19, 28 and 56 Virginia Regis . . . 
Armistead's Brigade, 9, 14, 38, 53 and 57 Virginia Regts. 
Kemper's Brigade, 1, 3, 7, 11 and 24 Virginia Reg^s 

Pettigrew's Division- 
Archer's Brigade 

Pettigrew's JBrigade . . . 
Davis' Brigade 

Trimble's Division- 
Lane's Brigade 

Scales' Brigade 



— O 

















Adding the killed and wounded of Pettigrew's Brigade on 
the third day's fight, viz., 300 ; to its killed and wounded on 
the first day's fight, viz., 1,105 ; and it makes a total loss of 
1,405 killed and wounded sustained by these four ITorth Car- 
olina Regiments, which is within 33 of the loss in killed and 
wounded sustained by the fifteen Virginia Regiments of 
Pickett's Division. 


Quoting again from the author of "Gettysburg, Then and 
Now" : "But why call this Pickett's charge ? In this as- 
sault there were engaged forty-two Confederate Regiments. 
In Pickett's Division there were 15 "Virginia Regiments. In 
Pettigrew's and Trimble's there were 15 ISTorth Carolina Reg- 
iments, 3 Mississippi, 3 Tennessee, 2 Alabama and 4 Vir- 
ginia Regiments. In addition to the artillery fire, they 
(Pettigrew and Trimble) encountered 9 Regiments of ITew 
York, 5 of Pennsylvania, 3 of Massachusetts, 3 of Vermont, 
1 Michigan, 1 Maine, 1 Minnesota, 1 New Jersey, 1 Connect- 
icut, 1 Ohio, and 1 Delaware, in all 27 regiments. 

368 North Carolina Troops, 1861-'65. 

"Some prominent writers, even historians like Swinton 
and Lossing, have said that the left of the line (Pettigrew's 
and Trimble's Divisions) did not advance as was expected, 
and that it was because these troops were not of the same 
'fine quality' as those upon the right; that they were raw 
and undisciplined, etc., etc. Yet, but two days before, these 
same soldiers of Pettigrew and Trimble had fought around 
Eeynold's Grove (McPherson's woods) for six hours in a 
struggle with the First Corps that is unsurpassed for bravery 
and endurance, and where so many of their numbers had 
fallen. There were in fact no better troops in the Confed- 
eracy than they. Is history repeating herself ? If the event 
is correctly recorded, there were at Thermopylas 300 Spar- 
tans, YOG Thespians, and 300 Thebans. It is said the lat- 
ter went over to the enemy, but the Thespians died to a man 
at the pass with the Spartans. Yet for nearly twenty-four 
centuries. Epic song and story have well preserved the mem- 
ory of the Spartans, while the devoted Thespians are for- 


On the first day while the Twenty-sixth Eegiment was in 
line awaiting the order to charge the enemy in McPherson's 
woods, Lieutenant-Colonel Lane, who had been up all the 
night previous in charge of the division skirmish line, and had 
eaten but little, but had drunken freely of muddy water, was 
seized with an intolerable naiisea and vomiting. Colonel 
Lane thus speaks of the incident: "I asked permission of 
Colonel Burgwyn to go to the rear. The latter replied : 'Oh, 
Colonel, I can't, I can't, I can't think of going into this battle 
without you ; here is a little of the best French brandy which 
my parents gave me to take with me in the battle ; it may do 
you good.' I took a little of it under the circumstances, though 
I had not drunk any during the war, and I may add, neither 
had Colonel Burgwyn. In a few minutes I was somewhat 
relieved and said: 'Colonel Burgwyn, I can go with you.' 
With his usual politeness, he replied : 'Thank you. Colonel, 
thank you.' Continuing the conversation, he said: 'Colonel, 
do you think that we will have to advance on the enemy as 

Twenty-Sixth Regiment. 369 

they are? Oh, what a splendid place for artillery. Why 
don't they fire on them ?' He saw and realized the very de- 
cided advantage their position gave them over us." 

James D. Moore, private in Company F, was the 85th man 
of his company shot on the first day's fight. A ball passed 
through his leg. When taken to the field hospital the sur- 
geon said he had been fighting cavalry, as the wound was, 
made by a carbine 44 calibre, and not by an Enfield rifle, 56- 
calibre. After the war Moore went to live in Indiana at a 
place called Winnaniac. He there met a man named Hayes 
who was a member of the Twenty-fourth Michigan Regiment 
and in the battle of Gettysburg. Hayes had lost his Enfield 
rifle on the forced march of the night before, and as his regi- 
inent was going into action on the morning of 1 July, 
he picked up a carbine dropped by one of Buford's cavalry, 
and used it during the fight. It was the only carbine in the 
Twenty-fourth Regiment and just before he retreated, when 
the colors of the regiment charging him was fifteen or twenty 
paces distant, he fired in their direction. Moore at the time 
was alongside the flag and received Hayes' shot. They be- 
came good friends and Hayes was of material assistance to 
Moore so long as the latter lived in his town. 

When taken from the fleld, Colonel Lane was carried to 
the field hospital, a brick house. A wotinded Georgia oflicer, 
who was lying near the door of the room in which Colonel 
Lane was, had been delirious all the morning. He finally be- 
came quiet about 1 p. m. and after a silence of some minutes. 
Colonel Lane heard him say in a perfectly rational tone of 
voice : "There now, there now. Vicksburg has fallen, Gen- 
eral Lee is retreating and the South is whipped. The South 
is whipped." He ceased speaking and in a few moments an 
attendant passed by and said he was dead. General Lee did 
not retreat from Gettysburg until the evening of the 4th of 
July, and Vicksburg was not surrendered until the 4th of 

It is stated in Volume 67, page 514, Official Records Union 
and Confederate Armies, that on 4 July, 1863, at 6 :35 a. m., 
General Lee proposed to General Meade "to promote the com- 

370 North Carolina Troops, 1861-'65. 

fort and convenience of the officers and men captured by the 
opposing amiies, that an exchange be made at once." At 
8 :25 a. m., General Meade replied : "It is not in my power to 
accede to the proposed arrangement." 


When the army retreated from Gettysburg, the wounded 
were sent off in long trains chiefly of the wagons which Gen- 
eral Stuart had captured in his raid around Meade's army. 
These invited the attack of the enemy's cavalry, and many 
wounded Confederate officers and soldiers were in this way 
captured before the army got across the Potomac river. 

The wagon train in which Colonel Lane was carried, was 
one of those attacked. He at once got out of the wagon, 
mounted his horse and made his escape, though he was at the 
time unable to speak or to receive nourishment in the nat- 
ural way. He was unable to take any nourishment for nine 
days, owing to the swollen and inflamed condition of his 
throat and mouth, and it was thought impossible for him 
ever to get well. 


Posterity will wish to know as much as possible of the per- 
sonnel of this regiment, and we append a list of the officers of 
the regiment who participated in the battle of Gettysburg. 
This we are enabled to do from a very remarkable fact. 

As stated above, the proximity of Meade's army was not 
known on 30 June, 1863, and on that day the regiment was 
mustered as it bivouacked after the day's march. These mus- 
ter and pay rolls were made out in triplicate, one to be sent to 
the Adjutant General of the army, one to be kept by the com- 
pany commander, and one by the Quartermaster of the regi- 
ment, who was also the paymaster. Captain J. J. Young, the 
regimental Quartermaster from the beginning to the end of 
the war, has preserved these muster and pay rolls. The 
writer has had access to the same, and now copies from them 
the names of the officers of the regiment who were present in 
camp on the afternoon of 30 June, 1863, and the number of 


1. John Tuttle, Sergeant, Co. F. 

3. Wm. N. SnellinK, 2d Lieut., Co. D. 

3. L L. Polk, Sergeant Major 

4. W. W. Edwards, Private, Co. E. 

6. J. D. Moore. Private, Co. F. (The 85th 
man in his Company wounded at 
Gettysburg, July 1st, 1863.) 

6. H C. Co£Eey, Private, Co. F. (The 

86th man in his Company wounded 
at Gettysburg, July 1st, 1863.) 

7. Laban Ellis, Private, Co. E. 

Twenty-Sixth Regiment. 371 

those present for duty in each company as shown hy its mus- 
ter and pay roll for that day. 


Haeey King Buegwyn^ Jr., Colonel. 
John Randolph Lane, Lieutenant-Colonel. 
John Thomas Jones, Major. 
James B. Joedan, Adjutant. 
Llewellyn P. Waeeen, Surgeon. 
William W. Gaithee, Assistant Surgeon. 
Joseph J. Young, Quartermaster. 
Phineas Hoeton, Commissary. 
MoNTFOED S. McRea, Sergeant Major. 
Benjamin Hind, Hospital Steward. 
Abeam J. Lane, Quartermaster Sergeant. 
Jesse F. Peeguson, Commissary Sergeant. 
E. H. HoENADAY, Ordnance Sergeant. 


Company A — Captain, Samuel P. Wagg; First Lieuten- 
ant, A. B. Duvall ; Second Lieutenant, J. B. Houek ; Junior 
Second Lieutenant, L. C. Gentry; present for duty, 97. 

Company B — ^Captain, Wm. Wilson; First Lieutenant, 
Thos. J. Cureton; Second Lieutenant, W. W. Richardson; 
Junior Second Lieutenant, Edward A. Breitz; present for 
duty, 92. 

Company C — Captain J. A. Jarrett ; First Lieutenant, W. 
Porter ; Second Lieutenant, ; Junior Second Lieuten- 
ant, R. D. Horton ; present for duty, 80. 

Company D- — Captain, J. T. Adams; First Lieutenant, 
Gaston Broughton; Second Lieutenant, J. G. M. Jones; 
Junior Second Lieutenant, Orren A. Hanner; present for 
duty, 79. 

Company E^ — Captain, S. W. Brewer; First Lieutenant, 
John R. Emerson; Second Lieutenant, W. J. Lambert; 
Junior Second Lieutenant, Oran A. Hanner; present for 
duty, 104. 

Company F — Captain, R. M. Tuttle ; First Lieutenant, C. 

372 North Carolina Troops, 1861 -'65. 

M. Sudderth; Second Lieutenant, ; Jumoi' 

Second Lieutenant, J. B. HoUoway; present for duty, 91. 

Company G— Captain, H. C. Albright; First Lieutenant, 
J. A. Lowe; Second Lieutenant, ; Junior Sec- 
ond Lieutenant, Wm. G. Lane; present for duty, 91. 

Company H— Captain, ; First Lieutenant, 

M. McLeod; Second Lieutenant, George Willcox; Junior 
Second Lieutenant, J. H. McGilvery ; present for duty, 78. 

Company I— Captain, N. G. Bradford ; First Lieutenant, 
M. B. Blair; Second Lieutenant, J. C. Grier; Junior Sec- 
ond Lieutenant, J. G. Sudderth ; present for duty, 74. 

CoMPAifY K — Captain, James G. McLauchlin ; First Lieu- 
tenant, Thomas Lilly; Second Lieutenant, \ 

Junior Second Lieutenant, J. L. Henry ; present for duty, 99. 

The total number present for duty was 885. 

Of those absent, Captain James D. Mclver of Company H, 
Second Lieutenant A. B. Hays of Company F, and Second 
Lieutenant A. K. Jordan of Company G, were absent on de- 
tached duty, Second Lieutenant Wm. L. Ingram of Company" 
K, was on sick furloiigh, and Second Lieutenant J. M. Har- 
ris of Company C, who was subsequently captured at Bristoe 
Station (14 October, 1863) is marked "absent with leave." 

Of the above list those killed or mortally wounded in the 
two days' fighting, were as follows : Colonel, H. K. Burgwyn ; 
Captains S. P. Wagg, Wm. Wilson ; Lieutenants, John E. 
Emerson, W. W. Richardson, J. B. HoUoway. 

All the other ofiicers except Captain Albright and Lieuten- 
ants J. A. Lowe, C. M. Sudderth and ii. B. Blair, were 
wounded. Adjutant J. B. Jordan and Sergeant-Major M. 
S. McRea, of the Regimental Staff, both severely wounded. 
Major Jones and Lieutenant T. J. Cureton. were wounded,, 
but refused to leave the field. 


Captains, Bradford and Brewer. I^ieutenants, Brietz, 
Broughton, Hanner, McLeod, and Adjutant Jordan. 

On 31 August, 1863, while the regiment was in camp near 
Orange Court House, it was again mustered. The writer has- 

Twenty-Sixth Regiment. 373 

these rolls before him. In some companies the record of 
events since 30 June, 1863 (last muster) is specific; in some, 
no details are given other than vi^hat appears opposite the 
name of the individual. 

Captain Duval, of Company A, reports that his company 
went into action at Gettysburg with 92 men and lost, killed 
11, and wotinded 66, on the first day, and on the third day, 
1 killed. Captain Wagg, and 10 wounded and missing; 
total, 88. 

First Lieutenant W. J. Lambert, of Company E, says his 
company took into the battle 82 men and lost, killed and mor- 
tally wounded 18, and wounded 52, on the first day, and on 
the second day's fight only two men escaped. 

Captain Albright, of Company G, reports the loss of his 
company at 12 killed and 58 wounded and missing. 

Captain Mclver, of Company H, reports 17 killed and 55 
wounded at Gettysburg. 

Lieutenant Polk, of Company K, says he recrossed the 
Potomac at Falling Waters with 16 men, having crossed that 
river in June on the way to Gettysburg, with 103, rank and 

Captain Tuttle, of Company F, declares that every man 
was killed or wounded in his company that he took into the 

The following is tlie number killed and wounded and miss- 
ing at Gettysburg, ascertained from the reports as given on 
the muster rolls of the companies, dated 31 August, 1863 : 
"Killed and mortally wounded, 139. Wounded and miss- 
ing, 535." 

This enumeration omits some wounded who had returned 
to duty prior to 31 August, 1863, the date of the muster. 

The muster rolls for 30 June, 1863, make the aggregate 
present for duty, enlisted men, 885 ; allowing 10 per cent, 
for extra duty and details, it would leave about 800 muskets 
taken into battle at Gettysburg on the first day. Of this 
number 708 were killed, wounded and missing as the losses 
in the first and third day's fighting at Gettysburg. Over 88 
per cent — and of the officers, 34 out of 39 were killed or 
wounded. Over 87 per cent. 

374 North Carolina Troops, 1861-65. 

coloe beaeees at gettysbueg. 

It is possible at this late day that the name of some gallant 
soldier who carried the flag of the Twenty-sixth Eegiment 
during the battle of Gettysburg may be omitted from the list 
below, but every effort has been made to include in this hon- 
orable mention all entitled, for no one took the^flag in that 
battle without the certainty of being shot down, and not one 

The color guard consisted of a Sergeant and eight pri- 
vates. After these nine had fallen, the others were volun- 

FIEST day's I-IGHT^ 1 JTJLY^ 1863. 

Colonel, H. K. Burgwyn, Jr., killed. 

Captain Wm. W. McCreery, killed. 

Private Franklin Honeycutt, Company B, killed. 

" John E.. Marley, Company Gr, killed. 

" William Ingram, Company K, killed. 
Lieutenant-Colonel John E. Lane, wounded. 
Lieutenant Greorge Willcox, wounded. 
Color Sergeant J. Mansfield, wounded. 
Sergeant Hiram Johnson, Company Gr, wounded. 
Private John Stamper, Company A, wounded. 

" G. W. Kelly, Company D, wounded. 

" L. A. Thomas, Company F, wounded. 

" John Vinson, Company G, wounded. 

thied day's fight^ 3 JULY^ 1863. 

Sergeant W. H. Smith, Company K, killed. 
Private Thomas J. Cozart, Company F, killed. 
Captain S. W. Brewer, Company E, wounded. 
Private Daniel Thomas, Company E, wounded. 

As First Sergeant James M. Brooks, Company E, and 
Daniel Thomas, the latter carrying the flag, reached the en- 
emy's works, the Federals called out to them, "Come over on 
this side of the Lord," and took them prisoners rather than 
fire at them. 

Twenty-Sixth Regiment. 375 


These men kept right up with the regiment. I have only 
been able to locate the following name^ : 
Private Weill B. Staton, Company B. 

" Jackson Baker, Company D. 

" John A. Jackson, Company H. 


On the night of 4 July, 1863, General Lee withdrew his 
army from confronting Meade at Gettysburg, and Heth's 
Division marched to Hagerstown, where it entrenched. "On 
the evening of 13 July," says General Heth in his ofScial re- 
port, "I received orders to withdraw at dark and move in the 
direction of Falling Waters. The night was dark, roads 
ankle deep in mud and raining. It took twelve hours to 
march seven miles. On reaching an elevated and command- 
ing ridge of hills, one mile from Falling Waters, I was or- 
dered by General A. P. Hill to put my division in line of bat- 
tle on either side of the road and to put Pender's Division in 
rear of mine in column of brigades. At this point we halted 
to let the wagons and artillery get over the river. About 11 
a. m. 14 July, 1863, received orders to move Pender's divis- 
ion across the river following Anderson's Division. About 
15 or 20 minutes after getting these orders, and while they 
were in execution, a small body of cavalry, numbering 40 or 
45, made their appearance in our front. They were at once 
observed by myself and General Pettigrew, and several mem- 
bers of my staff as well as many others. On emerging from 
the woods the party faced about, apparently on the defensive. 
Suddenly facing about, they galloped up the road and halted 
some 175 yards from my line of battle. From their manoeu- 
vering and the smallness of their numbers, I concluded it was 
a party of our own cavalry pursued by the enemy. In this 
opinion I was sustained by all present. The troops had been 
restrained up to this time from firing by General Pettigrew 
and myself. Examining them critically with my glasses, I 
discovered they were Federal troops, and the command was 
given to fire. At the same time the Federal officer gave the 

376 North Carolina Troops, 1861-65. 

command to charge. The squad passed through the intervals 
separating the epaulments for the artillery and fired several 
shots. In less than three minutes all were killed or captured, 
save two or three who are said to have escaped. General Pet- 
tigrew, who had received a wound in one of his hands (left) 
at Gettysburg, was unable to manage his horse which reared 
and fell with him. It is probable when in the act of rising 
that he was struck by a pistol ball in the left side, which, un- 
fortunately for himself and his country, proved fatal. Thirty- 
three of the enemy's dead were counted, and six prisoners fell 
into our hands and a stand of colors." 

The cavalry mentioned above was a portion of the Sixth 
Michigan, commanded by Major P. A. Weber.' "Seeing only 
that portion of the enemy behind the earthwork," says Gen- 
eral Kilpatrick in his report of the affair, "Major Weber 
gave the order to charge." 

General Kilpatrick admits a loss of thirty killed, wounded 
and missing, including the "gallant Major P. A. Weber, 
killed." It would seem that General Heth and the rest were 
excusable for their hesitation as to which side this cavalry 
force belonged. 'Tis true, they were dressed in the Federal 
uniform, but many Confederate scouts wore the Federal uni- 
form. It was known that General Lee was crossing his army 
into \"irginia, at Williamsport ford and at Falling Waters on 
a pontoon bridge, and that the cavalry had orders to protect 
the crossing of the infantry at these places. But for an un- 
fortunate mistake on the cavalry's part in thinking all had 
crossed, whereby those who were to intervene between the 
enemy and Heth's rear guard had been withdrawn and had, 
themselves, crossed at Williamsport above, this sad disaster 
could not have occurred. 

A member of the Twenty-sixth regiment, who witnessed 
the unfortunate affair says : "Some (referring to the Fed- 
eral cavalry) were knocked off their horses with fence rails. 
General Pettigrew after he fell, endeavored to shoot the Yan- 
kee who shot him, but his pistol missed fire, and IST. B. Staton, 
private of Company B, seized a big stone and crushed the 
Yankee in the breast, killing him." 

As soon as the surgeons examined General Pettigrew's 

Twenty-Sixth Regiment. 377 

wound they saw the only hope for his life was to keep him 
perfectly quiet, and proposed to take him into a barn near 
by. To allow this, General Pettigrew obstinately declined, 
saying "he would die before he would again be taken pris- 
oner." He was then put on a stretcher, and in hopes his life 
by this way might be saved, he was carried by four men who 
were regularly relieved by fresh details, all the way to Bun- 
ker Hill, a distance of 22 miles, occupying parts of two 
days. Frequently during the march he would say to the sol- 
diers as he would notice their sympathetic countenances: 
"Boys, don't be disheartened. May be I will fool the doc- 
tors yet." He lingered in the house of a Mr. Boyd, at Bun- 
ker Hill, Va., vmtil 17 July, 1863, and at about half past six 
in the morning, died quietly and without pain. General 
Lee, riding by his side as he was carried on the litter to Bun- 
ker Hill, expressed great sorrow at his being wounded. Gen- 
eral Pettigrew replied "tliat his fate was no other than one 
might reasonably anticipate upon entering the army, and 
that he was perfectly willing to die for his country." 

To the Rev. Mr. Wilmer, afterwards Bishop Wilmer, of 
Louisiana, he avowed a firm persuasion of the truths of the 
Christian religion and said that in accordance with his belief 
he had, some years before, made preparation for death. 

On the morning of Friday, 24 July, 1863, the coffin con- 
taining his remains, wrapped in the flag of his country, and 
hidden under wreaths of flowers and other tributes of femi- 
nine taste and tenderness, lay in the rotunda of the Capitol at 
Raleigh, where within the year had preceded him his compa- 
triots, Branch and Anderson. From Raleigh, he was taken 
to his old home, Bonarva, Tjake Scuppernong, Tyrrell County, 
and there he is buried near the beautiful lake whose sandy 
shores his youthful feet were wont to tread. We would pause 
here to remark how mysterious are the dispensations of Prov- 
idence, that it should be denied to James Johnston Pettigrew 
to die on the field of Gettysburg, and be decreed that he must 
meet his end in a petty skirmish with cavalry two weeks later. 

Many prisoners were taken on the retreat from Hagers- 
town to Falling Waters, hecause of the exhausted condition 
of the men and the incessant pursuit of the Federal cavalry. 

378 North Carolina Troops, 1861-'65. 

The troops at Falling Waters had to cross a pontoon bridge. 
The Confederate cavalry having retreated across at Williams- 
port, there were none to protect the infantry of Heth's divis- 
ion as it crossed at Falling Waters. The enemy's cavalry 
pressed them on front and flank, and there was more or less 
demoralization at the last. 

Captain Oureton, of Company B, witnessed this incident. 
A Federal cavalryman took position near the Maryland end 
of the pontoon bridge and as the stragglers came along he 
would demand their surrender. In this way some fifty or 
sixty men had surrendered to this one cavalryman, when a 
member of the Twenty-sixth Regiment passing along, was 
halted and his surrender demanded. The Twenty-sixth Reg- 
iment man raised his gun and taking aim said : "Damn you, 
you surrender." The Federal said "all right," and threw 
dovrai his gun. He was taken prisoner and with the fifty or 
sixty who had surrendered to him, was marohel across the 
bridge by the Tar Heel. Captain Cureton was the last man 
to get on the pontoon bridge as it was cut loose from its Mary- 
land end and swung into the river. From a thousand to fif- 
teen hundred stragglers were left on the Maryland side by this 
premature cutting loose of the bridge, and fell into the ene- 
my's hands. 


After the return to Virginia from the Gettysburg cam- 
paign. General Lee stationed his army in and around Orange 
Court House. While here on 7 September, 1863, General 
Wm. W. Kirkland was appointed to the command of Petti- 
grew's Brigade, and remained in command until the battle of 
Bristoe Station, where he was wounded. 

In a letter from General Lee to President Davis, dated 17 
October, 1863, he thus describes this unfortunate engage- 
ment : "With a view of bringing on an engagement with the 
army of General Meade, this army marched on the 9th instant 
by way of Madison Court House and arrived near Culpepper 
on the 11th. The enemy retired towards the Rappahannock. 
We only succeeded in coming up ^ with a portion of his rear 
guard at this place (Bristoe Station) on the 14th instant, 

Twenty-Sixth Regiment. 379 

■when a severe engagement ensued, but without any decided 
or satisfactory results." 

In his eagerness to attack the retiring enemy (Third Army 
Corps) General A. P. Hill overlooked the presence of the 
Second Corps posted behind the railroad embankment in a 
cut ; and when the brigades of Cooke and Kirkland made the 
attack, they were suddenly confronted by the Second Corps 
posted as above stated, and were driven back with severe loss. 
In his report of the engagement. General A. P. Hill says : "In 
conclusion I am convinced I made the attack too hastily; at 
the same time a delay of half an hour and there would have 
been no enemy to attack. In that event I believe I should 
equally have blamed myself for not attacking at once." 

The losses sustained by Kirkland's brigade in this action : 

Regiment. Killed. Wounded. 

Eleventh 4 11 

Twenty-sixth 16 83 

Forty-fourth .23 63 

Porty-seventh 5 37 

Fifty-second 2 25 

Total 50 219 

WINTER OF 1863-'64. — the snow ball battle. 

The Army of ISTorthern Virginia winter-quartered in and 
around Orange Court house. 

"At the first heavy fall of snow, it was suggested that there 
should be a sham battle between Cooke's and Kirkland's Bri- 
gades, and snow balls be the weapons used. The two brigades 
paraded facing each other on opposite sides of a ravine. Col- 
onel Wm. MacRae, of the Fifteenth North Carolina Regi- 
ment, commanded Cooke's Brigade; as to the name of the 
commander of Kirkland's, the writer is not advised. At a 
given signal the battle began. At first the men contented 
themselves with using snow, and all was fun and frolic ; but 
as the contest waxed more animated and each side struggled 
for mastery, the passions of the combatants became aroused 
and the excitement of actual battle seized them; hard sub- 

380 North Carolina Troops. 1861-65. 

stances, frequently stones, were grabbed up with the snow and 
made into a ball that had the stinging effect of the genuine ar- 
ticle on the one hit, and several received injuries of a serious 
nature. Colonel MacRae was pulled from his horse and 
roughly handled, and the combat only ended with the exhaus- 
tion of the participants, each side agreeing it should be con- 
sidered a drawn battle. This affair caused some bitterness 
between the brigades, which took time and comradeship, bat- 
tles, privation and sufferings to destroy." 

About the middle of November, 1863, Colonel Lane having 
sixty days longer leave of absence, visited his regiment. He 
thus writes of his visit: "I found the regiment so low in 
spirits and few in number that the day I reached camp, was, 
I believe, the saddest day to me of all the war. I realized 
then, as not before, the deaths of my Colonel, Harry Bur- 
gAvyn, of our General, Pettigrew, and so many other officers 
and friends in the regiment. 

"Regretting so much to see the gallant old regiment go 
down, notwithstanding the fact that I was entirely unable for 
active service, I reported myself for duty, when I was com- 
missioned as full Colonel of the Twenty-sixth Regiment, to 
date from 1 July, 1863. I went to work with all the will I 
could possibly bring to bear to recruit, drill and equip my 
regiment and restore it to something like its former numbers 
and efficiency." 

Major John T. Jones had been promoted Lieutenant-Colo- 
nel, after the battle of Gettysburg, and at one time com- 
manding the brigade, had been in command of the regiment 
from Gettysburg until Colonel Lane's return. Captain Jas. 
T. Adams, of Company D, on his return to the regiment after 
his recovery from his woimd received at Gettysburg (first 
day) was promoted to Major. The commissions of all bear- 
ing date 1 July, 1863, in recognition of the heroic conduct 
of the regiment on that day. The captaincy of Company D 
was held open awaiting the return of First Jjieutenant Gas- 
ton H. Broughton, wounded and captured in the third day's 
fight at Gettysburg. Orderly Sergeant John A. Polk, of 
Company K, promoted Second Lieutenant after Gettysburg, 
where he was wounded, was appointed acting Adjutant, vice 

Twenty-Sixth Rkgiment. 381 

Adjutant Jordan, wounded and captured at Gettysburg. 

Continuing our quotations from Colonel Lane's letter : "I 
was informed by General Kirkland that if consolidation of 
regiments were effected, that the Twenty-sixth Regiment was 
named as one to be consolidated. I tised every influence at 
my command to avert the threatened consolidation, and 
through the noble concert of action of the officers of the regi- 
ment, I had the proud satisfaction of seeing our efforts 
crowned with success. 

"Such was the harmony, energy and regimental pride of 
the officers and men, and so well did they work together to 
promote its interests, enlivened by such soul-inspiring music 
as only Captain Mickey's band could furnish, that by the first 
of May, 1864, the regiment numbered 760 strong; and so 
well was it drilled that General Heth pronounced it to be 
one of the 'best drilled regiments in the Army of Northern 
Virginia.' The improvement in the moral and religious con- 
dition of the regiment that winter was very remarkable, more 
good being effected by the work of the Chaplains and their as- 
sistants than during all the previous years of the war." 

Many deserters returned, gave themselves up and ever af- 
terwards made good soldiers, and by 5 May, 1864, this 
old Twenty-sixth Regiment that had been bereft of so many 
of its best officers and men at Gettysburg, and Bristoe Station, 
that it came near losing its separate existence by being merged 
into another, proudly marched down the plank road at the 
head of Heth's division to the 

battles of the wildeeness and spottsylvania coukt 


On 4 May, 1864, General U. S. Grant, now in command of 
the armies of the United States, with General Meade in im- 
mediate command of the Army of the Potomac, crossed the 
Rapidan at Ely and Germania fords. 

General Lee marched two corps to oppose him. Ewell's 
(Second Corps) by the old turnpike, and Hill's (Third 
Corps) by the Orange plank road. 

Says General Lee in his report of the battle : "Ewell and 
Hill arrived in the morning in close proximity to the enemy's 

382 North Carolina Troops, 1861 -'65. 

line of march. A strong attack was made upon Ewell, who 
repulsed it, capturing many prisoners and four pieces of ar- 
tillery. The enemy subsequently concentrated on Hill, who, 
with Heth's and Wilcox's Divisions, successfully resisted re- 
peated and desperate assaults. Early on the morning of 
6 May, as these divisions were being relieved, the enemy ad- 
vanced and created some confusion. The ground lost was re- 
covered so soon as the fresh troops got into position and the 
enemy were driven back. Afterward we txirned the left of 
his front line and drove it from the field. Lieuten ant-Gen- 
eral Longstreet was severely wounded." 

A member of the regiment thus writes of this battle : 

"ISTever did a regiment march more proudly and deter- 
minedly than the Twenty-sixth, when it headed the column of 
Kirkland's Brigade for the battle of the Wilderness. Beach- 
ing the ground early 5 May, 1864, we passed General Lee and 
his Staff. Our regiment was engaged all the first day, and suc- 
ceeded in driving back the enemy and holding him in check ; 
but informed we would be relieved during the night by men 
of Longstreet's Corps, we did not take proper precaution and 
were surprised by the enemy, who at daybreak next morning 
(6 May) with great vigor, renewed the attack of the previous 
afternoon, and our brigade came very near being stampeded. 
And again the regiment met with serious loss in prisoners 
and killed and wounded." 

Colonel Lane being wounded in the thigh on the evening 
before, Lieutenant-Colonel Jones was now in command of 
the regiment, and while gallantly rallying his men and lead- 
ing them in a charge, was mortally wounded. He asked As- 
sistant Surgeon W. W. Gaither, if the wound was mortal. 
When told it was, with a yearning expression he replied: 
"It must not be. I was bom to accomplish more good than I 
have done." Later on will be found a sketch of this noble, 
gallant young soldier who died ere his prime, but left a projid 
record behind him. Continuing our quotation : "The regi- 
ment succeeded in holding the lines and at the critical mo- 
ment, Longstreet came up with his magnificent corps in the 
most perfect order I ever saw, marching his forces against 

Twenty-Sixth Regiment. 383 

Grant like boys going to a frolic. He hurled back the enemy 
and getting in their rear and left flank, was driving them in 
great confusion from the field, when, like Stonewall Jack- 
son, General Longstreet fell, shot down by some of his own 
men (part of Mahone's Brigade) and the pursuit was stopped. 
After Lieutenant-Colonel Jones was wounded, Colonel Lane 
returned to duty, his wound not proving very severe. 

"Lee and Grant noM' moved along on parallel lines fronting 
each other like two great monsters, and the night of 7 
May, found Lee's army well in line, fronting Grant, with 
Longstreet's Corps, commanded by Anderson on the right, 
Ewell on the left, and Hill in the center, the Twenty-sixth 
Regiment being near the centre bf Hill's Corps, placed it 
about the centre of the army. 


"About 8 p. m., on the night of 7 May, it became rumored 
that Grant's army was moving to his left, and had lost hope 
of reaching Richmond by the overland route. The rebel yell 
was raised at some point on the right of the line; at first, 
heard like the rumbling of a distant railroad train, it came 
rushing down the lines like the surging of the waves upon the 
ocean, increasing in loudness and grandeur; and passing, it 
would be heard dying away on the left in the distance. Again 
it was heard coming from the right to die away again on the 
distant left. It was renewed three times, each time with 
increased vigor. It was a yell like the defiant tones of the 
thunder storm, echoing and re-echoing. It caused such dis- 
may among the Federals that it is said their pickets fired and 
ran in." 

During the night General Lee put his army in motion for 
Spottsylvania Court House, and arrived just in time, as the 
enemy came in sight about 9 a. m. next morning (8 May). 

The 10th was a day of vigorous battle, the enemy made in- 
cessant attacks on the First Corps (Andersons), but were 
continually repulsed Avith great slaughter. During the night 
of the 11th, the artillery protecting Johnstons Division at the 
salient was withdrawn to be ready to move to the right, when 
at dawn of the 12th, Hancock's Corps attacked and captured 

384 North Carolina Troops, 1861-65. 

it, and most of Johnston's Division and twenty guns. It 
has been stated that Johnston was surprised by the enemy on 
this occasion. This he denies. In his report of the affair 
he says : "On the night of 11 May, in riding around my 
lines, I found the artillery leaving the trenches and moving 
to the rear. About 12 p. m. I communicated to Lieutenant- 
General Ewell my belief that I would be attacked and re- 
quested the return of the artillery. There was no surprise ; 
my men were up and ready for the assault before the enemy 
made their appearance." 

A member of the Twenty-sixth Eegiment writes : 

"At the battle of Spottsylvania Court House, the Twenty- 
sixth was detached from its regular place in the line and sta- 
tioned about fifty yards from the Cotirt House to be in readi- 
ness to support any point which might be strongly assaulted. 
While we were yet lying there, General Lee came riding by on 
his war horse, Traveler. Grant's artillery opened fire and 
it seemed impossible that General Lee cotild escape in the 
storm of shot and shell which was centered iipon him. As 
quick as a flash the members of his staff placed themselves 
around him to protect him with their own bodies. Such was 
the sentiment in the entire army. Each one was willing to 
give up his life to save that of the Commander-in-Chief. The 
troops were visibly affected, as General Lee with his staff, 
still svirrounding him, rode off. This incident manifested 
the love, reverence and respect in which General Lee was held 
by his soldiers." 

At a critical time in the carapaign it was extremely diificult 
to get com for the artillery horses. Three farmers living a 
few miles up the river tendered General Lee two thousand 
bushels of corn, but the trouble was, how to get it, as it was 
necessary to send a wagon train for it and the road lay for a 
greater part of the distance in close proximity to the lines of 
the enemy. As an escort for this wagon train, General Lee 
ordered that some regiment should be selected to whose ofiicers 
the men yielded unquestioned obedience, and upon whom 
they had entire reliance. The Twenty- sixth Regiment was 
selected for this hazardous service; the corn was safely 

Twenty-Sixth Regiment. 385 

brought into camp and the hungry artillery horses fed, 
making it possible to move the guns, and thus relieving the 
army from a threatened disaster. 


On his recovery from the wound received at Bristoe Sta- 
tion, General Kirkland was in command of the brigade until 
he was again wounded on 2 June, 1864, when Colonel Wm. 
MacRae, of the Fifteenth North Carolina Regiment, of 
Cooke's Brigade, was made Brigadier-General, and assigned 
to the command of Kirkland's Brigade 27 June, 1864. Gen- 
eral MacRae is thus spoken of by officers of the regiment : 

"General MacRae soon won the confidence and admiration 
of the brigade, both officers and men. His voice was like that 
of a Woman ; he was small in person, and quick in action. To 
him history has never done justice. He could place his com- 
mand in position quicker and infiise more of his fighting 
qualities into his men, than any officer I ever saw. His 
presence with his troops seemed to dispel all fear, and to in- 
spire every one with a desire for the fray. The brigade re- 
mained under his command until the surrender." 

Another officer thus writes : 

"General MacRae assigned to the brigade changed the 
physical expression of the whole command in less than two 
weeks, and gave the men infinite faith in him and themselves, 
which was never lost, not even when they grounded arms at 


On all the line from the Wilderness to Richmond and Pe- 
tersburg, General Lee acted on the defensive. He suffered the 
enemy to attack him, and in every instance the result proved 
the wisdom of his doing so. General Lee had not a man to 
lose unnecessarily. There were no reserves for him to call 
upon to fill his depleted ranks. ISTot so his adversary. 
As a matter of historical interest, I will quote briefly from 


386 North Carolina Troops, 1861-'65. 

some of General Grant's dispatches to General Halleck at 
Washington, D. 0., giving the losses in his army on this 
march to Richmond : 

"4 May, 1864: The crossing of the Rapidan effected. 
Forty-eight hours will now demonstrate whether the enemy 
intend giving battle this side of Richmond." It has been 
shown that in less than twelve hours from the date of this dis- 
patch Lee had inflicted a severe repulse upon Grant's army. 

"6 May, 11:30 a. m. : We have been engaged with the 
enemy in full force since early yesterday. I think all things 
are progressing favorably. Our loss to this time I do not 
think exceeds eight thousand. 

"7 May, 10 a. m. : Our losses to this time in killed, 
wounded and prisoners will not exceed twelve thousand. 

"11 May, 1864 : We have lost up to this time, eleven gen- 
eral officers, killed, wounded and missing, and probably 
twenty thousand men. 

"26 May, 1864: Lee's army is really whipped. The pris- 
oners we now take show it, and the action of his army shows it 
unmistakably. A battle with them outside of their intrench- 
ments cannot be had. Our men feel that they have gained 
the morale over the enemy and attack with confidence." A 
few days later. General Grant's tone is different. 

"5 June, 1864: Without a greater sacrifice of human life 
than I am willing to make, all cannot be accomplished that I 
had designed. I have, therefore, resolved upon the follow- 
ing plan : Move to the south side of James river." 

It is now well known that so disheartened was the army 
of the Potomac by its fearful losses in killed, wounded and 
missing from the crossing of the Rapidan to and including 
the battle of Cold Harbor, June 1-3, 1864 (the official reports 
make this loss over forty thousand), that at the latter battle 
the soldiers refused to obey the orders to attack the Confed- 
erate lines. (In this last battle the Federals lost over ten 
thousand), and General Grant in his testimony before the 
Congressional Committee investigating the cause of the fail- 
tire at the Mine explosion (at Petersburg 30 July, 1864) gave 
it as one of the explanations for the failure, the detail of 

Twenty-Sixth Regiment. 387 

white troops rather than Ferrero's Division of negroes, to 
make the assault, the white troops being demoralized from 
their life in the trenches and losses in battle. 

From Spottsylvania Court House to the North Anna, at 
Hanover Junction, Cold Harbor, on the lines between Rich- 
mond and Petersburg, the Twenty-sixth was always prompt to 
respond to all orders. General Grant, like Wm. Taylor's 
snake, would "wire in and wire out, and frequently left us 
still in doubt, whether he was coming in or going out." 


On two occasions while on the picket line between Spott- 
sylvania Court House and Richmond, Colonel Lane's life was 
probably saved by the vigilance of his men. 

On one occasion Private Laban Ellis, of Company E, see- 
ing a Federal soldier taking aim at the Colonel, fired so quick 
that his ball struck the Federal's gun as it went off and 
knocked it from his shoulder, whereupon the latter surren- 
dered and said to Colonel Lane : "Your man saved you." On 
another occasion, as Colonel Lane, with Ira !N'all, also of 
Company E, were making a reconnoissance of the ground in 
their front, ISTall spied a man a few feet away with his gun 
leveled upon the Colonel. Without taking time to raise his 
gun to his shoulder, ISTall fired and brought the Federal down, 
killing him. 

It would be impossible to state in detail all the engage- 
ments in which the regiment participated along this line. 
General Grant attempted to go around us, over us, and under 
us (explosion of the mine, 30 June, 1864), but was foiled in 
every attempt. Two of the most brilliant victories in which 
MacRae's Brigade played a conspicuous part were the en- 
gagements at Davis House, 19 August, and Reams Station, 
25 August, 186J^. In General Lee's reports of these actions, 
he thus writes 20 August, 1864: "General Hill attacked 
the enemy (Fifth Corps) yesterday afternoon at Davis 
House, three miles from Petersburg, on Weldon Railroad, 
defeated him and captured about 2,700 prisoners, including 
one Brigadier-General, and several field officers." 

388 North Carolina Troops, 1861-65. 

26 August, 1864: "General A. P. Hill attacked the enemy 
in his entrenchments at Eeams Station yesterday evening and 
at the second assault, carried his entire line. Cooke's, Mac- 
Rae's and Lane's Brigades (under General Connor), and 
Pegram's artillery, composed the assaulting column. Hill 
captured nine pieces of artillery, twelve colors, 2,150 prison- 
ers, 3,100 stand of small arms and 32 horses." 

So altogether creditable was the conduct of these three 
North Carolina Brigades as to call forth from General Lee 
a letter to Governor Vance, dated 29 August, 1864, in which 
he says: "I have frequently been called upon to mention 
the services of the North Carolina soldiers in this army, but 
their gallantry and conduct were never more deserving of 
admiration than in the engagement at Eeams Station, on the 
25th instant. The brigades of Generals Cooke, MacRae and 
Lane, the last under the command of General Connor, ad- 
vanced through a thick abatis of felled trees under a heavy 
fire of musketry and artillery and carried the enemy's works ' 
with a steady courage that elicited the warm commendation 
of their corps and division commanders, and the admiration 
of the army. If the men who remain in North Carolina 
share the spirit of those they have sent to the field, as I 
doubt not they do, her defense may be securely entrusted in 
their hands." 



The troops selected to carry the enemy's works in the early 
part of the fight having been repeatedly driven back, Heth's 
Division was ordered to their assistance. The division was 
drawn up in line of battle with the skirmishers in front. 

Lieutenant D. C. Waddell, of Company G, Eleventh North 
Carolina Regiment, relates this incident to the writer. Lieu- 
tenant Waddell was in command of the skirmishers on that 
part of the line. Major-General Heth walked out to his line 
and ordered him to send a man back to the main line and 
bring a regimental flag. The messenger returned with the 
color-bearer of the Twenty-sixth Regiment. General Heth 
demanded the flag. The color-bearer refused to give it up, 

Twenty-Sixth Regiment. 389 

saying: "General, tell me where you want the flag to go and 
I will take it. I won't surrender up my colors." The Gen- 
eral again made the demand, and was met by the same refusal, 
when taking the eolor-bearer by the arm, he said : "Come on 
then, we will carry the colors together." Then giving the 
signal to charge by waving the flag to the right and the 
left, the whole line with a yell, started for the enemy's works. 
The abatis protecting the enemy's lines was interlaced with 
wire in places, but charging through and over and around it 
all, the Confederate line rushed up to the works, and Gen- 
eral Heth, and his co-color-bearer, planted the flag on the en- 
trenchments behind which lay the enemy, most of whom 
thereupon surrendered. Thomas Minton, of Company C, 
from Wilkes County, was the name of this gallant color- 
bearer. He was subsequently killed with his colors in the 
action near Burgess Mill, 27 October, 1864. This gallant 
soldier was also wounded at Gettysburg. 

This courageous assault was necessarily attended with con- 
siderable loss in killed and wounded. Coloned Lane was 
again so unfortunate as to be wounded. He was struck by a 
piece of shell in the left breast just over the heart, fracturing 
two ribs and breaking one and tearing open the flesh to the 
bones, making a fearful wound six inches long and three 
wide, from which it was thought he would surely die. But 
about the first of JSTovember he Avas again back with his com- 
mand ready for duty. 

Among the other officers of the Twenty-sixth Regiment 
killed in these almost daily engagements with the enemy, was 
Captain Henry C. Albright, of Company G. He fell mor- 
tally wounded at the head of his company in repulsing an 
attack on the Vaughn Roads, 29 September, 1864. It would 
seem he had a presentment of his death. Captain Albright 
had been in every engagement and battle in which his regi- 
ment participated from New Bern, up to that day, and es- 
caped from even a slight wound. On the day he was wounded 
he remarked to a friend : "Oh, how I dread this day." He 
was carried to the Winder hospital, insisting that he be placed 
in the ward where his soldier boys were, rather than in the 
Officer's hospital. He lingered until 21 October, 1864. He 

390 North Carolina Troops, 1861-65. 

was carried home and buried in his family grave yard at 
Pleasant Hill, Chatham County. A handsome monument 
marks the spot. 

He was succeeded by First Lieutenant A. K. Johnson, who 
was such a martinet that the boys called him "Bob Ransom." 
lew companies in the Confederate army had better officers 
than Company G. Lieutenant-Colonel James T. Adams was 
now in command of the Twenty-sixth, and remained so until 
Colonel Lane returned to duty as stated above. 

Heth's Division being on the extreme right of the Confed- 
erate line defending Petersburg, were among the troops first 
to be called upon to resist any flank movement on the part of 
General Grant; and there was fighting almost daily along 
their front and flank. 

At Burgess Mills, 27 October, 1864, where Hancock lost 
1,482 in killed and wounded ; on Warren's expedition with 
the Fifth Corps to destroy Weldon bridge when he was met 
and driven back at Belfield 7-1 2 December, 1864 ; in the severe 
engagements at Hatcher's Run, 5-6 February, 1865, with 
Warren's Corps (Fifth) and Gregg's Division of cavalry, in 
which Warren admits a loss of 1,376 killed and wounded and 
missing ; in all these actions MacRae's Brigade was actively 
engaged and maintained its high prestige to the end. Of the 
suffering borne without murmuring, and fortitude displayed 
by these heroic soldiers, when every one realized the cause 
was lost and the end must soon come, I quote from General 
Lee's report of this Hatcher Run fight, dated 8 February, 
1865 : "Yesterday, the most inclement day of the winter, 
the troops had to be retained in line of battle, having been in 
the same condition the two previous days and nights. I re- 
gret to be obliged to state that under these circumstances, 
heightened by the assault and the fire of the enemy, some of 
the men were suffering from rediiced rations and scant cloth- 
ing, exposed to battle, cold, hail and sleet. I have directed 
Colonel Cole, chief commissary, who reports that he has not 
a pound of meal at his disposal, to visit Richmond and see if 
something cannot be done. If some change is not made, and 
the Commissary Department not reorganized, I apprehend 
dire results. The physical strength of the men, their cour- 

Twenty-Sixth Regiment. 391 

age, services, must fail under this treatment. Our cavalry 
has to be dispersed for the want of forage. I had to bring 
Wm. H. F. Lee's Division forty miles Sunday night to get 
him in position." President Davis endorses this report as 
follows: "This is too sad to be patiently considered, and 
cannot have occurred without criminal neglect or gross in- 
capacity. Let supplies be had by purchase or borrowing, or 
other possible mode." 


On 28 March, 1863, General Fitzhugh Lee was ordered to 
move his division of cavalry, then on the extreme left of the 
Confederate lines in front of Richmond on the north side of 
the James river, to Sutherland's Station on the south side of 
the railroad, 19 miles from Petersburg, which he reached 
on the 29th, and next day marched towards Dinwiddle Court 
House, via Five Forks. 

On 29 March, 1865, General Lee advises Secretary of War, 
General John C. Breckenridge, that "the enemy have crossed 
Hatcher's Run with a large force of cavalry and infantry and 

On 1 April "that General Pickett, with three of his own 
and two of General Johnson's (Bushrod) Brigades, supported 
the cavalry under General Fitz. Lee, at Five Forks ; that Gen- 
eral Pickett forced his way to within less than a mile of Din- 
widdle Court House, but later a large force, believed to be the 
Fifth Corps (Warren's), with other troops, turned Pickett's 
left and drove him back on the White Oak Road and separa- 
ted him from General Fitz. Lee, who was compelled to fall 
back across Hatcher's Run ; General Pickett's present position 
not known." 

On 1 April, Longstreet was ordered with two of his divis- 
ions to the south side, and General W. ~S. Pendleton, chief of 
Artillery, was ordered at 8 p. m. to withdraw all his guns, 
which he in his report says, "was accomplished with great suc- 
cess, only sixty-one gTms and thirteen caisons of the 250 field 
pieces belonging to the army on the lines near Richmond and 
Petersburg remained behind." 

On 2 April (received at 10:40 a. m.) General Lee dis- 

392 North Carolina Troops, 1861-65. 

patches President Davis : "I see no prospect of doing more 
than hjlding our position here till night." Later on same 
day (rjceived at 7 p. m.) : "It is absolutely necessary that 
we should abandon our position tonight, or run the risk of 
being cut off in the morning." 

General E. S. Ewell in his report, says : "At 10 a. m. Sun- 
day (2 April, 1865), received message to return to the city 
of Eichmond, and on doing so received the order for the evac- 
uation and to destroy the stores that could not be moved. A 
mob of both sexes and all colors soon collected, and about 3 
a. m. (3 April) they set fire to some buildings on Gary street, 
and began to plunder the city. I then ordered all my staff 
and couriers to scour the streets and sent v?ord to General 
Kershaw, whose command was garrisoning Fort Gibner, on 
the lines north of Eichmond, to hurry his leading regiment 
into town. By daylight the riot was subdued, but many 
buildings which I had carefully directed should be spared, 
had been fired by the mob. By 7 a. m. the last troops had 
reached the south side, and Mayo's and the railroad bridges 
were on fire. I am convinced the burning of Eichmond was 
the work of incendiaries." 

On the afternoon of 6 April, Lieu1i*nant-General Ewell 
and Major-General G. W. C. Lee, and their commands, were 

On the night of Y April General Grant sent a note to Gen- 
eral Lee, asking his surrender, to which General Lee replied, 
the time for surrender had not come. General Lee was still 
in hopes he could reach Appomattox Court House and there 
obtain supplies, and thence push on behind the Staunton 
river, and eventually unite with General Joseph E. John- 
ston somewhere in JSTorth Carolina. General Lee, with the 
remnant of his army, reached the neighborhood of Appomat- 
tox Court House on the evening of 8 April, but Sheridan's 
cavalry had gotten there first, captured the trains with the 
supplies, and obstructed Lee's further advance. 

On the morning of the 9th, General Lee sent a flag of truce 
to General Grant, asking for an interview, and the same 
morning the two Generals met in the house of Mr. Wilmer 
McLean, in the village of Appomattox Court House, and the 

Twenty-Sixth" Regiment. 393 

terms of tlie surrender were agreed upon. Tliese were that 
the men and officers were to be paroled on a pledge not to take 
up arms again until properly exchanged. The officers were 
to retain their side arms, private horses and baggage. Those 
enlisted men who owned the artillery and cavalry horses or 
mules they were using, were also allowed to retain them. 
General Grant saying he supposed "most of the men in the 
ranks were small farmers who would need their horses to put 
in a crop to carry themselves and families through the next 
winter." It required several days to parole those surren- 
dered, (some escaped to join Johnston's army and refused to 
surrender) and then, in groups and squads, or one by one, 
the paroled men dispersed to reach their homes as best they 
could. Thousands of them were penniless Many had hun- 
dreds of miles to travel, without money or means of transpor- 
tation, but there was no rioting or outrage as they moved 
through the land, everywhere desolated and despoiled, to find 
their homes, in many cases, laid waste and destroyed. The 
same constancy and devotion to their country which had sus- 
tained them amid battle and strife imparalled, nerved them 
to face courageously tljis dark time of defeat and disappoint- 
ment and to do their -best to retrieve the widespread ruin of 
their beloved South." 

In these last days of the war, the Twenty-sixth Regiment 
sustained severe losses in killed and wounded. Lieutenant 
J. W. Richardson was killed at Reams Station, and at Five 
Forks (1 April, 1865) Captain Thomas Lilly, who had suc- 
ceeded Captain J. C. McLauchlin as Captain of Company K, 
and been put in command of the brigade sharpshooters, was 
killed. He was one of the best officers in the regiment. Col- 
onel Lane, during the winter of 1864-5, suffered much from 
his wounds, especially the one in the neck and face, and about 
the middle of March went to the hospital at Salisbury for 
treatment. He was there when General Lee surrendered, 
and on 2 May, 1865, was paroled at Greensboro, IST. C, with 
Johnston's army. 

Lieutenant-Colonel Adams took command of the regi- 
ment after Colonel Lane went to the hospital, and except a 
few days on the retreat when he was temporarily in command 

394 North Carolina Troops, 1861-65. 

of the brigade, was with his regiment. In his absence Cap- 
tain T. J. Cureton, of Company B, commanded the Twerrty- 
sixth, and surrtmdered the regiment at Appomattox. Lien- 
tenant-Colonel Adams, however, signing the paroles. 


On 1 March, 1865, the Brigade Inspector reported the 
strength of MacRae's Brigade, present and effective for the 

Ofiicers ^^ 

Enlisted men 1,119 

Total .- 1,1T4 

The capitulation rolls at Appomattox showed : 


Heth's Division. Ofiicers. Men. 

Major-General Harry Heth and Staff 15 ... 

John E. Cooke's Brigade TO 490 

Joseph R. Davis' Brigade 21 54 

Wm. MacRae's Brigade 42 400 

Wm. McCounel's (formerly Archer's and 

Thomas') " 54 426 

The rolls for the entire army surrendered by General Lee : 

Officers. Men. 

General Headquarters 69 212 

Infantry 2,235 20,114 

Cavalry 134 1,425 

Artillery 184 2,392 

Miscellaneous 159 1,307 

Total 2,781 25,450-28,231 

The number surrendered by the several regiments of Mac- 
Rae's Brigade: 

Eleventh Regiment, commanded by Colonel Wm. J. Mar- 
tin, 74 muskets. 


1 J D Mclver, Captain, Co. H. 4. W. W. Gaither, Assistant Surgeon. 

2 Thomas Lilly, Captain, Co. K, 5. George Wilcox, 1st Lieut., Co. M. 

3' Jas C McLauchlin, Captain, Co. K 6. Orran A. Hanner, 1st Lieut., Co. E, 
7. J. G. Jones, 1st Lieut., Co. D. 

Twenty-Sixth Eegiment. 395 

Twenty-sixth Regiment, commanded by Lieutenant-Colonel 
J. T. Adams, 120 muskets. 

Forty-fourth Regiment, commanded by Major C. M. Sted- 
man, 74 muskets. 

Forty-seventh Regiment, commanded by Captain J. H. 
Thorpe, 72 muskets. 

Fifty-second Regiment, commanded by Lieutenant-Colonel 
E. Erson, 60 muskets. 

There was but one regiment in Heth's division that sur- 
rendered more muskets than did the Twenty-sixth, and that 
was the Fifteenth North Carolina Regiment, in Cooke's Bri- 
gade, which surrendered 122 muskets. In Major Moore's 
"Roster of JSTorth Carolina Troops" the aggregate of num- 
bers enrolled in the Twenty-sixth Regiment is put down as 
1,898, which is more than was enrolled in any regiment fur- 
nished the Confederate armies from North Carolina, accord- 
ing to said Roster. 



(The field officers and captains are mentioned in the order 
of the date of their commissions ; but the Lieutenants alpha- 
betically, and their relative rank is not set out, as it is impos- 
sible in all cases to give. ) 

Colonels — Z. B. Vance, H. K. Burgwyn, Jr., John R. 

Lieutenant Colonels — LI. K. Burgwyn, Jr., John R. 
Lane, John T. Jones, James T. Adams. 

Majors — Abner B. Carmichael, IST. P. Rankin, James S. 
Kendall, John T. Jones, James T. Adams. 

Adjutants — James B. Jordan. Acting at different times 
as Adjutant, Lieutenants John A. Polk, A. R. Johnson, Wm. 
N. Snelling. 

SuEGEONS — Thomas J. Boykin, Llewellyn P. Warren. 

Assistant StEGEONS — Daniel M. Shaw, Wm. W. Gaither. 
Acting at different times as Assistant Surgeon, Captain W. 
S. McLean, Lieutenant George C. Underwood. 

Regimental Quaeteemastee — Captain Joseph J. Young. 

396 North Carolina Troops, 1861-65. 

Eegimental Gommissaey — Captain Kobert W. Goldston, 
Fhineas Horton. 

Seegeant Majoes— L. L. Polk, Montford S. McEae, 

John E. Moore. 

QuAETEEMASTEE Seegeant — Abram J. Lane. 

Gommissaey Seegeant — Jesse F. Ferguson. 

Oednance Seegeant — E. H. Horhaday. 

Hospital Stewaed — Benjamin Hind. 

Chaplains— Kev. Robert H. Marsh, Eichard Nye Price, 
Styring S. Moore, John Huske Tillinghast. 

Company A — Captains, A. N. McMillan, Samuel P. 
Wagg, A. B. Duvall. Lieutenants, A. B. Duvall, J. M. Du- 
vall, L. C. Gentry, J. B. Houck, James Porter, George E. 
Eeeves, Jesse A. Eeeves. 

Company B — Captains, J. J. C. Steele, William Wilson, 
Thomas J. Cureton. Lieutenants, A. Brietz, Taylor G. 
Cureton, Thos. J. Cureton, Calvin Dickinson, Wm. M. Es- 
tridge, John W. Eichardson, Wm. W. Eichardson, Wm. Wil- 

Company C — Captains, A. B. Carmichael, A. H. Horton, 
Thos. L. Ferguson, J. A. Jarrett. Lieutenants, Wm. W. 
Hampton, John M. Harris, A. H. Horton, Eufus D. Horton, 
Phineas Horton, J. A. Jarratt, Wm. Porter. 

Company D — Captains, Oscar E. Eand, James T. Adams, 
Gaston H. Broughton. Lieutenants, James T. Adams, Gas- 
ton H. Broughton, James G. M. Jones, James B. Jordan, 
Wm. Snelling, James W. Vinson, M. J. Woodall. 

Company E — Captains, W. S. Webster, Stephen W. Brew- 
er. Lieutenants, Stephen W. Brewer, Bryant C. Dunlap, 
John E. Emerson, Orran A. Hanner, Wm. J. Headen, W. J. 
Lambert, E. H. McManus. 

Company F — Captains, N. P. Eankin, Joseph E. Ballew, 
Eomulus M. Tuttle. Lieutenants, Joseph E. Ballew, Abner 

B. Hayes, John B. HoUoway, E. N. Hudspeth, Alfred T. 
Stuart, Charles M. Sudderth, E. M. Tuttle. 

Company G — Captains, W. S. McLean, John E. Lane, H. 

C. Albright, A. E. Johnson; Lieutenants, H. C. Albright, 

Twenty-Sixth Regiment. 397 

A. R. Johnson, Wm. G. Lane, J. A. Lowe, John E. Matthews, 
Samuel E. Teague, George C. Underwood. 

Company H — Captains, Wm. P. Martin, Clement Dowd, 
J. D. Mclver, M. McLeod. Lieutenants, Clement Dowd, 
Robert W. Qoldston, J. H. McGilvery, James D. Mclver, M. 
McLeod, George Willcox. 

Company I — Captains, Wilson A. White, John T. Jones, 
N. G. Bradford. Lieutenants, M. B. Blair, N. G. Bradford, 
John Carson, Rufus Deal, S. P. Dula, J. C. Greer, John T. 
Jones, J. G. Sudderth. 

Company K — Captains, James C. Carraway, John C. Mc- 
Lauchlin, Thomas Lilly. Lieutenants, Wm. C. Boggan, J. 
L. Henry, Wm. L. Ingram, James S. Kendall, Thomas 
Lilly, John C. McLauchlin, J. A. Polk. 

The casualties in the regiment among the above officers 
from first to last were as follows : 


Colonel H. K. Burgwyn, Jr., Lieutenant-Colonel John T. 
Jones, Major Abner C. Carmichael, Captains Albright, Lilly, 
Martin, Wilson and Wagg; Lieutenants J. M. Duvall, Deal, 
Emerson, Hayes, Henry, HoUoway, John W. Richardson, 
William W. Richardson, C. M. Sudderth, Teague, Wood- 
all— 19. 


Colonel John R. Lane, Lieutenant-Colonel James T. 
Adams, Adjutant James B. Jordan; Captains Bradford, 
Brewer, Broughton, Oureton, A. B. Duvall, Jarrett, Mc- 
Lauchlin, McLeod, McMillan, Tuttle; Lieutenants Brietz, 
Estridge, Gentry, Green, Hanner, R. D. Horton, Houck, 
Hudspeth, Ingram, J. G. M. Jones, Lambert, W. G. Lane, 
Lowe, McGilvery, McManus, Polk, Porter, Snelling, Will- 
cox — 32. 

Many of the above were wounded more than once. 


A history of the Twenty-sixth Regiment would not be 
complete without an account of its band, regarded as one of 

398 North Carolina Troops, 1861-65. 

the best in the Army of JSTorthern Virginia. It was recruited 
chiefly from Salem, JST. 0., and most of its members belonged 
to a band in that town prior to the war. Samuel Timothy 
Mickey, of Salem, was the leader, and the names of the other 
members are as follows: A. P. Gibson, J. A. Lineback, H. 
A. Siddell, W. H. Hall, Julius A. Transon, Charles Traji- 
son, A. L. Hauser, A. Meinung, W. A. Lemly, D. T. Grouse, 
J. 0. Hall, W. A. Eeich, D. J. Hackney, Edward Peterson. 
Only one of them died during the war, viz., A. L. Hauser. 

Captain Mickey still leads a band in Salem, and is a pros- 
perous mechanic. W. A. Lemley is the president of the 
Wachovia National Bank, of Winston, N. C, and J. D. 
Hackney is a Baptist Preacher. 

The band was recruited for Wheeler's Battalion, but at the 
capture of that command at Roanoke Island, Captain 
Mickey went to New Bern to seek employment. He thus de- 
scribes his first meeting with Colonel Vance : "I was sitting 
in the lobby of the Gaston House, New Bern, when a man 
wearing a Colonel's uniform came in with a loaf of bread 
under each arm. This was Zeb Vance. I spoke to him and 
told him my errand. Colonel Vance replied: 'You are the 
very man I am looking for. You represent the Salem band. 
Come to my regiment at Wood's brick yard, four miles below 
New Bern.' Next morning (March, 1862~), I went down to 
the camp, was met by Captain Horton, of Company C, and 
as the result of my visit, the band was engaged and at first it 
was paid by the officers." The members being musicians of 
unusual cultivation and intelligence, under Captain Mickey's 
indefatigable labors, the band soon acquired great celebrity 
and was in constant demand for serenades and military 
parades. On the Sunday before Gettysburg, at Fayetteville, 
Pa., Chaplain Wells preached before the Brigade. His text 
was "The Harvest is past, and the Summer is ended and we 
are not saved." It was an eloquent discourse and made a 
great impression. After the services were over, and the 
band returned to its quarters, the drummer (W. A. Eeich) re- 
marked : "Boys, I believe we are going to lose our Colonel in 
the next fight. Did you notice his looks during the ser- 
mon?" Captain Mickey replied: "Yes, I did; he looked 

Twenty-Sixth Regiment. 399 

right serious." As appears above in this history their Colo- 
nel was lost to them in the next fight. 

Captain Mickey thus writes of Gettysburg : "The Yankees 
were in three lines on the hill pouring volley after volley on 
our men as they came through the fields. The color guard 
were all shot down, the colors fell fourteen times. Colonel 
Burgwyn was shot down with the colors, and Captain Mc- 
Creery of General Pettigrew's staff, was also killed with the 
colors. General Pettigrew said the men of the Twenty-sixth 
shot as if they were shooting at squirrels; that their shots 
counted. After the first day's battle, Colonel Marshall, com- 
manding the brigade, sent an order for the bands of the 
Twenty-sixth and Eleventh Regiments to report to his head- 
quarters, that the men were anxious to hear some music. The 
two bands played numerous pieces which seemed to enliven 
and cheer the soldiers. While the bands were playing, they 
were shelled by the enemy, and as they left a shell burst just 
where they had been standing. 

"On the retreat from Gettysburg to Bunker Hill, the band 
serenaded General Lee and other officers. After the serenade 
to General Lee, Colonel Taylor, his Adjutant General, came 
out of his tent and made a little talk. Thanked the band for 
the serenade, and said he didn't know how they would get 
along without bands ; that they cheered up the men so much ; 
that he noticed the style of our music was different from that 
of the other bands in the army." Mr. W. H. Hall was cap- 
tured near Green Castle on this retreat. 

Just before the campaign of the Wilderness opened. Colo- 
nel Lane took his band in a four-horse wagon to serenade Gen- 
eral Lee at night. The Colonel was invited into General 
Lee's tent while the music was playing. General Lee re- 
marked that we would not be idle many days ;• that Grant was 
making preparations to cross ; and General Lee then said if he 
could only strike him with his center, he though he would be 
able to make him recross in a way not so pleasant as was his 
coming over. "I can re-enforce from each wing," said Gen- 
eral Lee. 

Later on in the conversation, General Lee remarked: "I 
don't believe we can have an army without music." 

400 North Carolina Troops, 1861-'65. 

During the Spring of 1862-'63, and the winter of 1863-'64, 
the band was granted a furloiagh and gave several concerts in 
different parts of the State, and everywhere met with the most 
enthusiastic reception. They played at Governor Vance's 
first inauguration. 

The band remained with the regiment to the end and was 
captured on the retreat from Petersburg and taken to City 
Point, and thence to Point Lookout. They were finally re- 
leased, and Captain Mickey reached home (Salem) on 3 
July, 1865. 


A few words on this subject is of historical interest. Ex- 
cept in the closing days of the struggle, there were few, if any, 
desertions to the enemy. There were numerous cases of ab- 
sence without leave, btit the parties did not mean to desert 
their colors. Impelled by an irresistible yearning to see those 
they had left behind in their humble homes, they would go 
home without leave, but when this longing was gratified, they 
would voluntarily rejoin their commands and do as loyal ser- 
vice as any. 

It became finally necessary to visit the death penalty in 
instances, as an example to deter others. Sergeant Andrew 
Wyatt, Company B, and some ten others of the regiment on 
10 December, 1862, deserted while the regiment was sta- 
tioned at Garysburg, IST. C. They started for their homes in 
the Western part of the State, biit were arrested at a crossing 
on the Koanoke river. The Sergeant was court-martialed, 
convicted and condemned to be shot. While in camp near 
Magnolia, IST. C, January 1863, he was taken out in a wagon 
to the place of his execution, where the brigade was dravim up 
in a three-quarter square to witness the shooting. The pris- 
oner was blindfolded, ordered to Imeel down by the freshly 
dug grave, the firing squad stood with their guns at a "ready" 
and the ofiicer was reading the sentence, when an orderly rode 
up with an order from General French, commanding the de- 
partment, granting a pardon. Subsequent to his conviction 
the ofiicers of the regiment became satisfied that the Sergeant 
only intended to go home and see his family, and then return 

Twenty-Sixth Eegiment. 401 

to his command, and on their request, his life was spared. 
Sergeant Wyatt was killed at Gettysburg, bravely doing his 
duty in that famous first day's battle. 

While at Hanover Junction in June, 1863, Colonel Lane 
was president of a general court-martial. Several of his reg- 
iment had been tried for desertion and sentenced to be shot, 
and were awaiting their execution. Among them was John 
Vinson, a member of Colonel Lane's old company (Company 
G). When the regiment started for Pennsylvania these pris- 
oners were marched at the rear of the regiment under guard. 
Riding by their side one day, Colonel Lane remarked to 
them : "Are you in sympathy with the South, and if permitted 
to do so, will you help us fight in this next battle ?" They 
said: "We will. We only wished to go home to see our 
folks." General Lee informed of this, ordered them restored 
to duty, and no soldiers fought better at Gettysburg. John 
Vinson was wounded with the colors of the regiment, having 
volunteered to carry them. S. T. Dula, of Company I, was 
recommended by Major Jones for promotion for gallant con- 
duct at Gettysburg, where he was wounded. 

After the return to Virginia, he deserted, but voluntarily 
returned to the regiment after an absence of two or three 
weeks. Major Jones sent for him and said to him: "What 
in the world did jou mean by doing this. Yoti have put me 
in a devil of a fix." Dula replied that "he heard his wife had 
had a little one, and he could not resist going home to see it." 
He was allowed to go on duty, and was killed at Bristoe Sta- 
tion, leading the charge. 

Governor Vance was most energetic in getting these "absent 
without leave" men to return to their commands. He issued 
several proclamations on the subject. In the proclamation 
dated 27 January, 1863, he promised to use his influence with 
the authorities to pardon all those who would return to duty 
voluntarily. Many returned to their commands in response 
to this proclamation, and General Lee writes Governor Vance 
under date of 26 March, 1863 : "I at once remitted the pen- 
alties inflicted by the courts, and restored the men to duty. I 
also directed that no charges should be preferred against sol- 

402 NoETH Caeolina Troops, 1861-'65. 

diers who returned to duty under the promises contained in 
your proclamation." 

Governor Vance ordered the militia officials to assist the 
Confederate authorities in arresting those who continued to 
remain away without leave. On one occasion there was a 
fight between his militia officers and some deserters resisting 
arrest, in which one of the militia was killed. The deserter 
who did the killing was arrested and a habeas corpus was sued 
out before Chief Justice Pearson, of the State Supreme 
Court, who discharged the prisoner on the ground that the 
militia had no authority to arrest a deserter from the Confed- 
erate army. This first proclamation was followed by two 
others dated 11 May and 24 August, 1864. In this last one, 
Governor Vance gives this notice : "Warning is hereby given 
that in all cases where either Civil Magistrate or Militia, 
or home guard officers refuse or neglect faithfully to per- 
form their duties in the arrest of deserters, upon proper evi- 
dence submitted to me, the Executive protection extended 
to them under Acts of Congress (Confederate) shall be with- 
drawn, as I cannot certify that officers. Civil or Military, who 
refuse to perform their duties are necessary to the administra- 
tion of laws which they will not execute." 


In his Personal Memoirs, General Grant, writing of the 
conduct of the Confederate troops as late as 6 April, 1865, 
three days before the surrender at Appomattox, uses these 
words: "There was as much gallantry displayed by some of 
the Confederates in these little engagements as was displayed 
at any time during the war, notwithstanding the sad defeats 
of the past week." On that day (6 April, 1865), Colonel 
Washburn with two regiments of infantry and eight of cav- 
alry, under Colonel Eead, of General Ord's Staff, with or- 
ders to destroy the liigh Bridge over the Appomattox river 
near Farmville, returning from the expedition, met the ad- 
vance of a detachment of the Confederate army on its retreat 
marching in the same direction. Colonel Washburn gave the 
order to charge. It was unsuccessful. Colonels Washburn 
and Eead were mortally wounded, nearly every officer and 

Twenty-Sixth Eegiment. 403 

most of the rank and file were killed or wounded, and the 
balance were captured. 

Finally as his reasons for surrender, General Lee says: 

"On the morning of 9 April, 1865, there were. 7,892 organ- 
ized infantry Avitb arms, 6.3 pieces of artillery, and 2,100 
cavalry. We had no subsistence for man or horse, and it 
could not be gathered in the country, and the men deprived of 
food and sleep for many days were worn out and exhausted." 

A member of the regiment thus writes under date of 3 Au- 
gust, 1900: "The morale, the elan, the physique of the 
TAventy-sixth, has not been equalled. My greatest glory is 
that I was so intimately associated with its history." 

We will bring this history to a close by a short biographi- 
cal sketch of some of those through whose labors and- military 
skill the regiment was brought to that state of high efficiency 
which enabled it to accomplish stich feats of arms as will for 
all time set it apart as one of the most famous military com- 
mands in the annals of war. 

The youthfulness of the officers of the regiment was re- 
markable. Colonel Burgwyn's class at the Virginia Military 
Institute was not to have graduated until June, 1861, but 
was graduated in April previous, to enable its members to of- 
fer their services in the war then inevitable between the 
United States and the ]Srew Confederacy of Southern States, 
organized at Montgomery, Ala., February, 1861. 

Lieutenant-Colonel John T. Jones was to have graduated at 
Chapel Hill (University of the State) in June, 1861, but 
volunteered in a company organized at Chapel Hill in the 
Spring of 1861, that became Company D, of the Bethel Reg- 

Captains Wilson, Albright, Tuttle, and McLaughlin, also 
left college prior to their graduation, to join the army. 

Colonel Vance Avas thirty-one years old and Colonel Lane 
twenty-six when they volunteered. Lieutenant-Colonel 
Adams had barely attained his majority when he was elected 
Third Lieutenant in the Wake Guards, and Captains Wilson, 
Lilly, Broughton, Cureton, Duvall, and the company officers. 

404 ISToETH Carolina Troops^ 1861-'65. 

almost withoTit exception, were under twenty-five years of age 
when they volunteered. 


The civic career of this distinguished citizen of JSTorth 
Carolina appears in so many publications we will confine our 
remarks entirely to his military record. A member of the 
regiment thus speaks of him as a soldier : "I remember well 
the first time I ever saw him. He had no appearance in the 
world of a soldier; his hair was long and flowing over his- 
shoulders, and he was wearing a little seal skin coat, from 
which I jiidged him to be a Chaplain. He had not long been 
absent from the hustings of Western JSTorth Carolina, and had- 
but little experience in war as Captain in the Fourteenth 
Regiment. When he came to the camp he soon began to dis- 
play the same qualities which made him so popular all over 
our State. 

"In the first place he had the keenest sympathy with hia 
men. They soon came to feel that Colonel Vance loved them^ 
and made their troubles his own. In the next place, Colonel 
Vance was able to inspire his men with the belief that he had 
confidence in them. These two essentials to a good com- 
manding officer were, perhaps never possessed by any man to- 
a greater degree than by Colonel Vance. 

"In drill and discipline. Colonel Vance was at first defi- 
cient. I mention this not in any way to discredit him, for' 
his life as a politician had given him no opportunity to de-" 
velop these essentials in the character of an officer. 

"I mention the fact to show the wisdom he displayed in 
the matter, for wlien he saw his regiment deteriorating, he 
recognized his deficiency and set about to correct it. He 
turned to his Lieutenant-Colonel, Harry King Burgwyn, who 
had been trained at the Virginia Military Institute, and was 
a very master of drill and discipline. He put himself and 
his subordinates under the tutorship of this brilliant young 
officer. The result was most" satisfactory. Colonel Vance 
and many of his officers soon became well schooled in the 
methods of drill and discipline, and his regiment became al- 
most a perfect instrument of war, devoted to their com- 
mander. In battle I always marked him as cool and coura-- 

J.E.Lane. H. K. Burgwyn. Z.B.Vance. 

Three Clolonela of the 26th N. C. Regiment. 

Twenty-Sixth Regiment. 405 

geous. When duty called Vance from the army to be Gov- 
ernor of North Carolina, in the most trying period of the war, 
he had gained much from his career as Colonel of the Twen- 
tv-sixth that I believe he found valuable in his future duties. 
He had a sympahtetic knowledge of the needs of the Con- 
federate soldier, the war wrought into his sinews; he knew 
how with all his kindness to deal firmly with men and affairs. 
He was a better Governor for having been Colonel." 


A short time after the death of this young officer, born 3 
October, 1841, probably the youngest of his rank in the Con- 
federate army — obituary notices appeared in the Raleigh pa- 
pers. From one of them we copy : "It would be unjust to the 
liAang no less than to the memory of the young hero and 
martyr who now sleeps beneath the sod of a distant and for- 
eign State, were the death of Colonel Harry King Burgwyn, 
Jr., permitted to pass with the brief notice of his fall pub- 
lished in a late number of this paper. 

"The life, career and death of young Burgwyn, convey a 
lesson to the youth of this Confederacy which cannot be too 
well studied and thoroughly profited by. He was the eld- 
est son of Henry King Burgwyn, Esq., of ISTorthampton 
County, in this State, his mother was Miss Anna Greenough, 
of Boston, Mass., and had barely attained the age of twenty- 
one years when he attested his love for his country by the sac- 
rifice of his life on the altar of its liberties. ■ Born to the en- 
joyment of affluence, he might, as too many of our youth do, 
have been content to grow up in idleness and luxurious ease. 
But such a life had no charms for him. Blessed with a fine 
capacity and docile disposition, he well availed himself of the 
abundant means of education afforded him by his parents. 

"His education preparatory to his entrance into the Univer- 
sity of the State, was partly from private tutors in the family 
and at Burlington, JSTew Jersey, and at West Point, where he 
was a private pupil of Foster, — now the Yankee General at 
T^ew Bern. Leaving West Point, he entered the University 
of his State, and graduated with the highest honors (1S59). 
At this period he might, as the phrase goes, have been consid- 

406 ISToRTii Caeoi.ina Troops, 1861-'65. 

ered 'educated.' ISTot so, however, thought his father. Fore- 
seeing the difficulties which have culminated in a war between 
the South and the "JSTorth, and desirous that his son should be 
prepared for usefulness in every emergency, he placed him 
in the Virginia Military Institute, where he was when hos- 
tilities commenced. Of the course of young Burgwyn in 
that institution an idea may be formed from the following 
letter from the now lamented Stonewall Jackson: 

"Lexington, Va., April 16, 1S61. 
SiE : — The object of this letter is to recommend Cadet H. 
K. Burgwyn, of North Carolina, for a commission in the ar- 
tillery of the Southern Confederacy. Mr. B. is not only 
a high-toned Southern gentleman, but in consequence of the 
highly practical as well as scientific character of his mind, 
he possesses qualities well calculated to make him an orna- 
ment not only to the artillery, biit to any branch o£ the mili- 
tary service. T. J. Jackson, 

Prof. Nat. Phil, and Instr. Va. M. I. 
To L. P. Walker, Secretary of War.' 

"The discriminating and sagacious judgment of the pro- 
fessor has been fully attested by the career of the pupil from 
the moment he entered the service to the day on which he met 
a soldier's fate on the bloodiest field of the war, as with colors 
in hand, he was leading his men on to victory. When New 
Bern fell, he was the last man of his regiment to cross the 
creek on the retreat — having refused to enter the boat until 
all were safely passed over. On this occasion young Bur- 
gwyn was Lieutenant-Colonel of the regiment, the Colonel 
being the present Governor, Vance. 

"From this State we follow the subject of our narrative to 
the bloody fields around "Richmond, winding up with the ter- 
rific fight at Malvern' Hill, in which his regiment was unsur- 
passed for heroism by any troops on the field. 

"On the resignation of Colonel Vance, when he became Gov- 
ernor-elect of the State, young BurgAvyn was promoted Colo- 
nel, and soon thereafter we find him again in service in his 
native State. In the critical campaign in Martin County, 
when the enemy were threatening disastrous consequences to 

Twenty-Sixth Kegiment. 407 

the region of the Roanoke river, we find Colonel Burgwyn 
performing signal services, especially in the engagement of 
Eawls' Mills, where he displayed a cool judgment and indom- 
itable courage of which a veteran of many years standing 
might have been protid. In all the course of this career, so 
well calculated "to turn the head" of one so young. Colonel 
Burgwyn displayed a modesty so commendable that he 
silenced the tongue of envy and won the confidence of his 
brothers in arms. When on Governor Vance's resignation, it 
was suggested that he was too young, for the Colonelcy, Gen- 
eral D. H. Hill wrote of him: 'Lieutenant-Colonel Bur- 
gwyn has shown the highest qualities of a soldier and officer, 
in camp and on the battle field, and ought by all means to be 

"As we have seen, Colonel Burgwyn did receive the promo- 
tion and subsequently was strongly recommended for the 
higher command of Brigadier-General. 

"We have thus given a brief sketch of the career of one 
whose death in the very outset of manhood prompts the ques- 
tion, 'If he was such in the gristle, what would he not have 
been in the bone ?' " 

His last words after sending a farewell to his parents and 
family were : "Tell the General my men never failed me 
at a single point." "Felix non solum claritate vitae, sed 
etiam opportunitate mortis." 

In a letter from Major George P. Collins, Brigade Quarter- 
master, written from the battle field and dated 3 July, 1863, 
and addressed to Colonel Burgwyn's father at Raleigh, !N". C, 
he thus describes the end : "Captain J. J. Young (Regimen- 
tal Qiiarterm aster) has undertaken to give you the sad news 
of your son's death, but I cannot let the opportunity pass 
without expressing my deep sympathy with his bereaved par- 
ents and family, as well as testifying to the gallant and sol- 
dierly manner in which he met his death. He was one of 
eleven (afterwards ascertained to be fourteen) shot bearing 
the colors of his regiment, and fell with his sword in his hand, 
cheering his men on to victory. The ball passed through the 
lower part of both lungs and he lived about two hours. Among 
his last words he asked how his men fought, and said they 

408 NoETH Caeolina Troops, 1861-'65. 

would never disgrace him. He died in the arms of Lieuten- 
ant Louis G. Young (Aide de Camp to General Pettigrew) 
bidding all farewell and sending love to his mother, father, 
sister and brothers." He was buried under a walnut tree (a 
gun case answering for a cofRn) by Major Collins and Cap- 
tain J. J. Young, assisted by M. F. Boyle, of Company B, 
the regimental mail carrier, and by Jesse T. Ferguson, of 
Company C, the regimental Commissary Sergeant. In the 
Spring of 1867 his remains were brought from Gettysburg, 
and re-interred in the Soldier's Cemetery at Raleigh, where 
he rests in the midst of his comrades who wore the gray, and 
who, like him, gave up their lives in the defense of a cause 
they believed holy and just. A handsome monument erected 
by his parents marks the grave. 

On 20 October, 1897, a portrait of the "Three Colonels of 
the TM'enty-sixth Eegiment," on one canvass, was presented 
to the State with appropriate ceremonies. The presentation 
took place during Fair Week, and was held in the Central 
Hall of the main building at the Fair grounds. 


This battle scarred veteran still lives (April, 1901) in vig- 
orous manhood. He was born in Chatham County, 4 July, 
1835, and is a direct descendant from Colonel Joel Lane, 
of Wake County, from whom the land on which the City of 
Ealeigh is located was bought. General Joe Lane, the Vice- 
Presidential candidate in 3860 on the Breckinridge and Lane 
ticket, was his near relative. 

Pie enlisted as a private in Company G and soon became 
Corporal. On the resignation of his Captain in the Fall of 

1861, he was elected over the heads of all his commissioned 
officers, to conmiand the company. He was re-elected Cap- 
tain at the reorganization of the regiment in the Spring of 

1862. At the battle of New Bern, Captain Lane was com- 
plimented for bravery and coolness under fire, and in the 
night attack on 25 June, 1862, iipon his regiment while on 
picket, referred to in the body of this history, his company 
was one of the three which stood firm under such a trying 

On the promotion of Lieutenant-Colonel Burgwyn, to the 

Twenty-Sixth Eegiment. 409 

Colonelcy, the position of M^ajor also being vacant, owing to 
the death of Major Kendall, Captain Lane was promoted 
over several senior captains to be Lieutenant-Colonel. After 
Gettysburg, he was made full Colonel, his commission bore 
date of 1 July, 1863, in recognition of his heroic conduct on 
that battle field. Seeing his Colonel fall, he immediately as- 
sumed command, and realizing that if the death of their Col- 
onel was known it would have a depressing effect upon the 
men, he did not impart it to the regiment, but inspired his 
men with the cheering words that fell from the lips of his 
stricken commander, and seizing his flag, calls upon his men 
to follow him. All depended now on Colonel Lane. There 
is a line of the enemy yet to be broken, and there is only a 
handful of his men left to do the work. We have seen how 
the crisis was met and the glorious victory and its cost. Gen- 
eral Pettigrew anxiously watching the contest, when he 
saw the enemy giving way on their last line before this des- 
perate charge of the regiment, with Colonel Lane at the head, 
exclaims: "It is the bravest act I ever saw." As described 
in the body of this article. Colonel Lane was thought to be 
mortally wounded, but escaping capture, he returned to duty 
in the Fall of 1863. Wounded at the battle of the Wilder- 
ness, 5 May, 1864, he refused a furlough. Again wounded 
in right leg at Yellow Tavern, south of Petersburg, in sum- 
mer of 1864, but refused to leave the field. At Reams' Sta- 
tion -25 August, IS 64, he was wounded in left breast, just 
over the heart by a piece of shell, fracturing two ribs and 
breaking one, and tearing open the flesh to the bone. Sup- 
posed to be mortally wounded, he wonderfully recovered and 
returned to duty ISTovember, 1864; remained in command 
until broken down by exposure and suffering from his 
wounds, he went to the hospital for treatment, and was at 
Danville, Va., when the remnant of his heroic regiment sur- 
rendered at Appomattox. He was paroled at Greensboro, ]^. 
C, on 2 May, 1865, and returned to liis home to take up the 
struggle for a living he had laid aside four years before. 

Since the war Colonel Lane has become a prosperous mer- 
chant and large land oWner in his native county, all accumu- 
lated by his untiring energy, business ability and thrift. He 

410 XoETii Caeot.tna Troops, 18C1-'65. 

is conspicuous for his liberality and devotion to the old com- 
rades of his immortal regiment. 


Was born in Caldwell Coimty, N. C, on 21 January, 1841. 
In 1857 he entered the University of ISTorth Carolina and 
there remained until the breaking out of the V7ar between the 
States. During his senior year, and just prior to his gradua- 
tion, he volunteered as a private in the Orange Light In- 
fantry commanded by Captain R. J. Ashe, which company 
became Company D in the "Bethel" Regiment. He was with 
his regiment at the battle of Big Bethel, and after its term of 
service expired, came home to Caldwell County and engaged 
actively in enlisting that body of men which became known 
to fame as Company I, of the Twenty-sixth l^orth Carolina 
Regiment of Infantry. Was elected Second Lieutenant, and 
upon the reorganization of the regiment for the war, was 
elected Captain; was promoted to be Major of the regiment 
when the noble Harry Burgwyn became Colonel, and after Col- 
onel Bnrgwyn's glorious death, became Lieutenant-Colonel in 
place of Colonel Lane, who succeeded the gallant Burgwyn. 

He passed through all the battles and combats in which his 
regiment was engaged, distinguishing himself especially at 
Rawls' Mills and Gettysburg. In the latter battle he re- 
ceived a wound, but he declined to leave the field, and com- 
manded the regiment after the fall of Colonels Burgwyn and 
Lane, and was in command of the brigade at the close of 
the charge on the third day. At the great battle of the Wil- 
derness, 6 May, 1864, after the wounding of Colonel Lane, he 
assumed command and was mortally wounded leading his reg- 
iment in a charge against overwhelming numbers. When 
told by Assistant Surgeon W. W. Gaither that his wound was 
mortal, says the Surgeon : "With a most yearning expression 
he replied, 'It must not be. I was born to accomplish more 
good than I have done.' " 

After the battle of Gettysbiirg, where his younger brother, 
Walter, a private in Company I, was killed, Lieutenant-Colo- 
nel Jones, then Major, was for some time in command of the 
brigade, all the other field officers present at the battle having 

Twenty-Sixth Regiment. 411 

been killed or wounded. His remains, with those of his 
brother, rest in one grave in the family cemetery in the beau- 
tiful "Happy Valley" in Caldwell County. The John T. 
Jones Camp, U. C. V., of Lenoir, N. C, is named in honor 
of this brave soldier and meritorious officer. The friendship 
between Colonel Jones and Colonel Burgwyn was so marked 
that subsequent to their deaths one of the officers of the regi- 
ment composed some beautiful lines on "Colonels Harry, 
and John," likening them to Jonathan and David. 


Lieutenant-Colonel James T. Adams. This meritorious 
officer rose from Second Lieutenant in Company D, from 
Wake County, to be Lieutenant-Colonel of the regiment, and 
during the last days of the war was in command of the regi- 
ment and on the retreat from Petersburg, was at times in 
command of the brigade. 

lie was wounded through the hip at Malyern Hill and seri- 
ously through tlie shoulder at Gettysburg, and except while on 
furlougli from wounds was never excused from duty. At 
Spottsylvania Court House, the brigade was ordered to drive 
the enemy from their position which menaced General Lee's 
rear and communications with Richmond. "The enemy had 
made a breastwork out of a fence in a piney old field and 
chinked the cracks between the rails with dry pine straw. As 
the brigade neared them, the enemy set fire to the fence and 
old field which burnt rapidly. Nothing daunted^ the Con- 
federates charged through the flames and over the burning 
fence, and drove their opponents in discomfiture from the 

At Hancock's defeat at Burgess' Mill, on the Boydton 
plank road south of Petersburg, 27 October, 1864, Lieuten- 
ant-Colonel Adams in cornmand of the regiment, acted with 
such conspicuous gallantry as to call forth the warm com- 
mendation of his brigade commander. General William Mac- 
Rae. The brigade Avith other troops were ordered to dis- 
lodge Hancock, who had cut through the Confederate lines. 
The brigade charged the enemy in its front, drove him from 
his position, capturing a battery. The troops on our left 

412 ]Si'oKTH Caeolina Teoops, 1861-'65. 

failed to carry the lines in their front and the Federals closed 
in behind MacEae's Brigade and completely cut them off 
from their friends. The brigade reformed, about faced and 
charged, forcing their way through and in a hand to hand 
■fight captared a battery and carried it out with them. In 
this action, the color-bearer of the Twenty-sixth Kegiment was 
either shot down in the charge or got beyond eyesight in the 
dense swamp and undergrowth through which the men 
charged, and after it was oyer, the order was given to fall in 
on the colors of the Forty-fourth Regiment. Colonel Adams, 
who had lingered behind to see what had become of his color- 
bearer, ran oiit between the lines, and thinking his men a 
little downcast at losing their colors, he jumped up on a 
stump and called out, "Twenty-sixth, rally on your com- 
mander. He is here if his colors are lost." The men re- 
sponded with a cheer. 

At the brilliant victory of Reams' Station, after Colonel 
Lane was wounded, Lieutenant-Colonel Adams took com- 
mand and was ever thereafter present with his regiment until 
its surrender at Appomattox, where he signed the paroles of 
his command. 

Since the war Colonel Adams has resided in Wake County, 
a prosperous man in his business, respected and esteemed 
by all. 

Dr. Thomas J. Boykin was Surgeon of the regiment, and 
remained with it until Colonel Vance's election as Governor, 
when he became Brigade Surgeon of Ransom's Brigade, and 
later was 'appointed State agent and sent to the Bermuda 
Islands, to handle blockade supplies for the State. 

Dr. Boykin was born in Sampson Cotmty, N. C, in 1828, 
ed^icated at AVake Forest College, and graduated at the Med- 
ical Department of the University of Pennsylvania. Prac- 
ticed his profession in Kinston and Clinton, but removed to 
ISTebraska Territory about the year 1856. Was elected a 
memlier of the upper branch of the Territorial Legislature. 
Immediately after the fall of Fort Sumter, (14 April, 1861) 
he returned to his native State and was appointed Surgeon 
of the Twenty-sixth Regiment. 

Assistant Surgeon William W. Gaither. This officer who 


most faithfully and acceptably served with the regiment until 
Uecemter, 1864, when he was promoted to be Surgeon of the 
Twenty-eighth North Carolina Eegiment, graduated from 
the Jefferson Medical College of Philadelphia, in the class of 
1860. Enlisted as a private in the "Hibriten Mountain- 
eers," which became the afterwards famous Company F, in 
the Twenty-si-xth Regiment. At first, serving as Hospital 
Steward, he was soon commissioned Assistant Surgeon, as- 
signed to the regiment and put in charge of the hospital at 
Carolina City, below New Bern. 

At Gettysburg,, Dr. Gaither was ail night getting the 
wounded from the field of the first day's fight and worked 
with them all the next day and night. On the afternoon of 
the third day, went to the regiment in line of battle. Under 
date of 5 September, 1900, Dr. Gaither writes: "I was on 
the field, saw the futile charge on the Cemetery wall, and the 
recoil. I got only three of the slightly wounded. When we 
got to Hagerstown, I went to sleep and slept for two entire 
days, so utterly exhausted I was." 

Not one of the wounded who crossed the Potomac, but re- 
turned to duty sooner than any who before or after stopped in 
hospital. Fourteen patients marched all night in a big rain 
twelve miles, sick from three to twelve days with malarial 
fever, and none reported sick next morning. The doctor nar- 
rates this incident: "D. L. and R. C, members of Company 
I, from Caldwell County, had been fighting off and on during 
the day. About evening R. C. says to D. L., 'Demps, I'll 
hurt you directly,' and proceeded to knock him down and 
pulled out his right eye ball. D. L. did not even report sick. 
Two days after T found him lagging a little in the rear and 
asked him what was the matter. He said: 'R. C. had pulled 
his eye out, but it was all right now." While in camp at 
Garysburg, N. C, Fall of 1862, two patients with smallpox 
in third day of eruption, came to Surgeon's call wanting to 
know what caused the breaking out. They were not isolated 
and there were no new cases in the regiment, but more intense 
inflammation in all vaccinated arms. 

In the winter of 18 63-' 64, while the army was in winter 
quarters around Orange Court House, Va., the number of 
men absent without leave at home became a matter of serious 

414 North Cabolina Troops, 1861-'65. 

consideration, and the best way to put a stop to it was can- 
vassed among the officers. There were several publications 
in the newspapers on the subject, and Assistant Surgeon 
Gaither wrote a set of resolutions which were passed by the 
officers in meeting, which attracted general notice and were 
universally approved as the best presentation of the situation 
that appeared. 

Captain Joseph J. Young, A. Q. M. This gentleman 
had an unique experience as a soldier. He was the regimen- 
tal quartermaster from the beginning to the close, and no 
command was ever blessed with a better one. He was wrap- 
ped up in his regiment and he could not do too much for 
them. He has kept copies of the regimental muster and pay 
rolls of the regiment which he treasures as among his most 
valuable possessions to be bequeathed to his children. In 
the latter months of the war when the number of the regimen- 
tal quartermasters was reduced to two to a brigade, he and 
Captain John Gatlin, Fifty-second Regiment, were retained 
for MaoKae's Brigade, and thus in addition to the care of 
his regiment, the brigade also received the benefit of Cap- 
tain Young's valuable services and experience, and he always 
acted brigade quartermaster in the absence of Major Collins. 

It was Captain Young's timely information, carried to 
Colonel Vance at the Captain's great personal risk, during 
the battle of IsTew Bern, which advised Colonel Vance of the re- 
treat of the other troops in time to enable the Colonel to with- 
draw the Twenty-sixth Eegiment from the works and escape 
capt\ire. We have seen how prompt Captain Young is to 
write his old Colonel the day after the battle of Gettysburg, 
of the glorious record this regiment made on that gory stained 
field ; and, as he began his military career with them, so at the 
end he was one of his immortal regiment to surrender at Ap- 

Captain Young was born in Wake County, 1 January, 
1832, and in May, 1861, he enlisted in Captain O. R. Band's 
Company 1), in the Twenty-sixth Eegiment; was appointed 
by Colonel A''ance Quartermaster of his regiment. 

Tn December, 1864, Captain Young was sent to Eastern 
North Carolina to collect and forward supplies to Lee's army. 

Twenty-Sixth Regiment. 415 

Adjutant James B. Jordan was born in Raleigh, N. C, 8 
June, ISyO). He was in business in Tennessee when on the 
secession of South Carolina, he returned to his native State 
and was elected First Lieutenant in Company I), of the 
Twenty -sixth Regiment and at the organization he was ap- 
pointed Adjutant. 

This position he held with honor and distinction until in 
the third day's fight at Gettysburg, he was seriously wounded, 
taken prisoner and carried to Johnson's Island, where he 
was detained as a prisoner until the close of the war. 

In 1888, he was made Clerk of the Circuit Court of Volu- 
sia County, Florida, which position he held at his death, 27 
April, 1899. 

Captain Samuel P. Wagg, Company A. This gallant 
young officer was killed in the charge of Pettigrew on the 
third day at Gettysburg, within a few feet of the enemy's 
works. When the call for troops was issued at the breaking 
out of hostilities, he promptly enlisted in the first company 
that was organized in his county (Ashe) and was elected its 
First Sergeant. At the reorganization of the regiment in the 
Spring of 1802, he was elected Captain and was ever at his 
post of duty. Captain Wagg was buried on the field. 

Captain Thom,as J. Cureton, Company B. This officer 
succeeded to the command of Company B on the death of 
the gallant Captain William Wilson, killed on the first day's 
fight at Gettysburg. 

Lieutenant Cureton was himself wounded on the third day 
in the shoulder, but declined to leave the field, and assisted 
in reforming the brigade as its shattered remnants recoiled 
from the assault on Cemetery Heights. 

Captain Cureton was again wounded at Hanover Junction 
on 23 May, 1864, while in command of the skirmish line, but 
returned to dutj in December, 1864, and remained with his 
regiment until the close, and much of the time was in com- 
mand of it on the retreat to Appomattox, when Colonel 
Adams was in command of the brigade. 

Before the war. Captain Cureton was a farmer, living in 
Union County, 'N. C. His grandfather owned the property 
in the Waxhaw settlement, North Carolina, where Andrew 

416 NoKTH Cal-oi-ina Teoops, 1861-'65. 

Jackson was born, and where Captain Cureton's father was 
born. Since the war, Captain Cureton has resided in Char- 
lotte, X. C, and Fort Mills, S. C, engaged in business as a 
cotton merchant, and now lives at Windsor, S. C. 

Captain Stephen W. Brewer, Company E, was born in 
Chatham County 26 September, 1835; enlisted in Company 
E, Twenty-sixth i^orth Carolina Regiment; was elected 
Third Lieutenant when the company was organized, and at 
its reorganization in the Spring of 1862, was elected Cap- 

After the first day's fight at Gettysburg, in which his com- 
pany lost 18 killed and mortally wounded, and 52 wounded, 
he led the twelve remaining into the third day's fight, that 
historic, but disastrous charge of Pickett and Pettigrew, and 
lost all but two killed and wounded. Captain Brewer was 
shot down, badly wounded, carrying his regiment's flag and 
fell near the enemy's line. 

He was captured at Greencastle, Md., on the retreat from 
Gettysburg, and was confined as a prisoner of war in differ- 
ent Federal prisons, chiefly at Johnson's Island, Ohio, until 
March, 1865, when he was paroled. 

In 1880 Captain Brewer was elected Sheriff of Chatham 
County, and re-elected four successive terms. He died 1 
March, 1S97. 

Brave in battle, gentle in peace, charitable and honorable 
in all his dealings, beloved and respected by all who knew 
him, he was a model citizen, and has left a good name that 
his children can justly claim as their proudest heritage. 

Captain Joseph R. Balleio, Company F, who became Cap- 
tain of Company F on the promotion of Captain Kanldn, as 
Major ; was born 20 April, 1832, in Burke County. In 1852 
he went to California via Charleston and Panama. 

It required 130 days to make the trip. In 1859 he re- 
turned to I^Torth Carolina, making the return trip in 22 days. 
On the breaking out of the war, he was elected First Lieuten- 
ant of Company F, Twenty-sixth Regiment. 

Captain Romulus Morrison Tuttle, Company F, famous 
as having commanded a company which at the battle of Get- 
tysburg, out of 91 rank and file taken into action, had every 

Twenty-Sixth Eegiment. 417 

man killed or wounded, himself among the number 
(wounded) ; was born in Lenoir, Caldwell County, N. C, 1 
December, 1842, and left school in July, 1861, to join the 
army ; was successively Orderly Sergeant, First Lieutenant, 
and Captain of Company F, Twenty-sixth JSTorth Carolina 

Was wounded four times in the four years service, viz : At 
Gettysburg, 1 July, 1863, right limb seriously fractured be- 
low the knee, which has never gotten entirely well; at the 
Wilderness, 5 May, 1864, centrally in the breast by minie 
ball, a flesh wound only — here his company lost 19 out of 26 
men' taken into action; Avest of Petersburg by a four-ounce 
canister ball in left breast, causing an ugly contusion and 
great suffering; and on 30 September, 1864, on the Squirrel 
Level road, south of Petersburg, in left forearm by minie 
ball, shattering the larger bone and necessitating a resection 
of three or four inches. 

At the reorganization of the regiment for the war, April, 
1862, Orderly Sergeant Tuttle was elected First Lieutenant, 
and on the resignation of his Captain, Jos. R. Ballew, in the 
Fall of the same year, he was promoted to the Captaincy. 

After the war this battle scarred veteran, but mere youth 
in years, returned to college to complete his education, and in 
June, 1869, graduated at Davidson College, IST. C. 

He now (April, 1901) has charge of the Collierstown Pres- 
byterian Church, near Lexington, Ya. 

Captain Henry Clay Albright, Company G. This gal- 
lant young officer, born 12 July, 1842, left college to enter the 
army as Second Lieutenant of Company G, Twenty-sixth 
Sorth Carolina Regiment, and on Captain John R. Lane's 
promotion to be Lieutenant-Colonel of the regiment, Lieuten- 
ant Albright was made Captain of the company. 

He was a "wonderfully good officer" is the testimony of his 
regimental commaiider. He passed unscathed through all 
engagements and battles, though present with his regiment all 
the time, until the spirited engagement of 29 September, 
1864, on the Vaughan road, south of Petersburg, he was mor- 

418 XoRTii Caeoijna Troops, 1861-'65. 

tally woimded, and on 27 October he died in the Winder hos- 

Oapiain William Wilson, Company B, was killed at Get- 
tvsbnrg on the first day's fight gallantly leading his men up 
the hill and through McPherson's woods. Left school to 
join the army, and in June, 1861, was elected First Lieuten- 
ant of Company B, Twenty-sixth North Carolina Regiment. 
At the reorganization of the regiment in April, 1862, he was 
elected Captain. lie would have achieved higher command 
had he survived the fateful battle of Grettysburg. He was 
buried on the field by the side of his Colonel. They were 
stricken about the. same tiiue and fell within a few feet of 
each other. 

Captain William Pinckney Martin, Com,pany li, was born 
4 October, 1817. He was elected a delegate to the proposed 
Constitutional Convention 28 February, 1861; but as the 
calling of the Convention was defeated, he did not take his 
seat. His was the first company that vokmteered from his 
county. It became Company H, Twenty-sixth Regiment. 
He was shot in the head at the battle of New Bern just be- 
fore the regiment had orders to retreat, and was buried on the 

Captain James D. Mclver, Company II, was born in 
Moore County, N. C, 14 December, 1833; graduated from 
Davidson College in J\me, 1859 ; volunteered in the first 
company raised in his county, and was elected Second Lieu- 
tenant in July, 1861. This company became Company H, 
in the Twenty-sixth ISTorth Carolina Regiment. 

On the resignation of Captain Clement Dowd in the Spring 
of 1862, Lieutenant llclver succeeded him as Captain of the 
company and remained in the regiment until the Fall of 
1863; was in all the battles in which his regiment was en- 
gaged up to that time, except the battle of Gettysburg, at 
which time he was absent on furlough. Captain McTver was 
a most gallant and competent officer, and his leaving the regi- 
ment was much regretted. After the war he was Coimty So- 
licitor, member of the Legislature in 1876, Solicitor of his 
District in 1878-1886, Judge Superior Court 1890-1898. 

Captain James C. McLauchlin, Company K. This ac- 

Twenty-Sixth Regiment. 419 

couiplished officer became Captain of his company in the re- 
organization for the war, April, 1862. He was wounded at 
Malvern Hill and again at Gettysburg, this last time so 
severely that it disabled him for service in the field, and he 
resigned from the regiment to accept lighter duty. Since the 
war for more than twenty years and at the present (April, 
1901) Captain McLauchlin has been Clerk of the Superior 
Court for Anson, his native county. 

Captain Thomas Lilly, Company K, who succeeded to 
the command of his Company, K, on the resignation of Cap- 
tain McLauchlin, was also wounded at Gettysburg. He rose 
from Corporal and became recognized as one of the best of- 
ficers in the brigade. He had command of the sharpshooters 
of the brigade, and fell mortally wounded 25 March, on the 
lines at Petersburg. 

Lieutenant Orren Alston Manner, Company E, enlisted 
38 May, 1861, at the age of 18 as a private, in Company E, 
Twenty-sixth North Carolina Regiment; was wounded at 
Malvern Hill 1 July, 1862 ; promoted to Second Lieutenant 
of the company in October, 1862 ; severely wounded at Get- 
tysburg 1 July, 1863, and captured on the retreat of the 
Confederate army ; carried first to hospital at David's Island, 
New York, then to prison at Johnson's Island, Ohio, where 
he remained until paroled in March, 1865. Has been a 
member of the General Assembly in 18Y2, 1874, and 1880. 

Lieutenant Hanner was one of the bravest and best subal- 
tern officers of the regiment. He and his Captain (S. W. 
Brewer) were both wounded and captured at Gettysburg, and 
the First Lieutenant, John B. Emerson, was mortally 
wounded at the same time. Captain Brewer's and Lieuten- 
ant Hanner's imprisonment prevented their being promoted 
to the positions of Major and First Lieutenant respectively. 

First Lieutenant Gaston H. Broughton, Company D, was 
born in Wake County, 1838, enlisted in Company D, 1861, 
was promoted First Lieutenant 28 April, 1862, was wounded 
at the foot of the stone wall in the third day's charge at Get- 
tysburg and remained a prisoner till the end of the war. He 
has been a farmer and a goad citizen since the war and is 
now custodian of the Supreme Coujrt building in Raleigh. 

420 jSToeth Cakolina Teoops, 1861-'65. 

Lieutenant James 0. M. Jones, Company D, was born 
near Holly Springs, Wake County, on 19 July, 1839. 
He enlisted in Company D, Twenty-sixth Kegiment. At 
first a Sergeant, at the reorganization in April, 1862, he was 
elected Second Lieutenant of the company. 

At Gettysburg, Lieutenant Jones was severely wounded in 
the hip. Through the kindness of Captain Young, Lieuten- 
ant Jones and his Captain (Adams) managed to get on a 
four-horse wagon loaded with wheat, and got safely to the 
Potomac river, and thence to the hospital at Eichmond. He 
returned to duty 19 December, 1863, at Orange Court House, 
and took command of the company, his senior (Brough- 
ton) being prisoner of war, wounded and captured at Get- 
tysburg. On 10 May, 1864, at Spottsylvania Court House, 
Lieutenant Jones was again wounded in the left breast, and 
would have been killed but for a daguerrotype of his sweet- 
heart in his left breast pocket which deflected the ball. This 
lady he subsequently married. He returned to duty in Sep- 
tember, 1864, and remained in command of his company 
until in the action at Biirgess Mill, south of Petersburg, on 
2Y October, 1864, he was taken prisoner and confined at Fort 
Delaware until Jime, 1865, when he was liberated. 

Lieutenant George Willcox, Company H, was born 17 
June, 1835. He enlisted in Company H, Twenty-sixth 
]^orth Carolina Regiment. At the reorganization of the reg- 
iment for the war in the Spring of 1862, he was elected Sec- 
ond Lieutenant of the company and remained as such until 
the Fall of 1864, Avhen he was appointed Captain of Com- 
pany H, in the Forty-sixth Worth Carolina Regiment, of 
Cooke's Brigade, in the same (Heth's) Division. 

Captain Willcox was in all the battles and actions in which 
his command was engaged during the war, except at Malvern 
Hill, and when he was absent on wounded furlough. In the 
first day's fight at Gettysburg, he was badly wounded while 
carrying the flag of his regiment (see account of the battle in 
this sketch) ; was captured, but resciied on the retreat and 
returned to his command in time to take part in the battle 
of the Wilderness, in which battle he was again severely 
wounded, this time through the shoulder. 


Returning to duty, he joined his regiment in the trenches 
around Petersburg, and was captured in the action at Bur- 
gess Mill 27 October, 1864, but escaped from the enemy dur- 
ing the night and rejoined his command. He represented 
Moore County in the Legislature of 1885-'86 ; also Moore and 
Randolph coimties in the Senate in 1891-'92. Captain Will- 
cox had three brothers in the war, he being the eldest. The 
next in age to him, W. M. Willcox, was a Lieutenant in Lid- 
dell's Brigade, Pat Cleburne's Division, General Bragg's 
army, and was killed at the battle of Ohicamauga (September 
19-20, 1863) ; Robert P. Willcox, another brother, was a 
member of Company H, Twenty-sixth North Carolina Regi- 
ment, arid though several times wounded, survived the war 
several years. The youngest brother Herman Husband Will- 
cox, as stated above, was killed at Gettysburg. 

Lieutenant Wm. N. Snelling, Company D, enlisted on 10 
June, 1861, in Company D, Twenty-sixth North Carolina 
Regiment. At the reorganization of the regiment, in the 
Spring of 1862, he was made Orderly Sergeant, and after 
Gettysburg, he was promoted to be Third Lieutenant. At 
this battle, every one of his company officers were killed or 
wounded, and Third Lieutenant Marion J. Woodall being 
killed, Sergeant Snelling was promoted Second Lieutenant, 
to date from 5 July, 1863, and placed in command of the 

Lieutenant Snelling was twice wounded, once in the left 
breast and once in the leg. Except when recovering from 
these wounds, and once on a thirty days' furlough. Lieutenant 
Snelling was with his regiment, frequently detailed to act as 
Adjutant, and always ready for duty. He was with his regi- 
ment when it surrendered at Appomattox, and during the last 
few months of the war he was in command of Companies A. C 
and D, consolidated. Lieutenant Snelling made out the mus- 
ter and pay rolls of his company from the beginning to the 
end, and would have received higher promotion, but from 
the fact that his Captain remained a prisoner of war after 
his capture at Gettysburg, and there was no vacancy. 

Leonidas L. Polk, Sergeant-Major, was born in Anson 
County in 1887, and was of the same family as Colonel 

422 NoETH Caboi-tna Troops, 1861-'65. 

Thomas Polk, President James K. Polk and Lieutenant-Gen- 
eral (Bishop) Leonidas Polk. In 1860 he was a member of 
the Lower House of the General Assembly. In 1862 he en- 
listed in Company K, Twenty-sixth North Carolina Troops, 
and was soon appointed Sergeant-Major. In 1863 he was 
promoted to a Lieutenancy in the Forty-third North Carolina, 
and was severely wounded at Gettysburg. In 1864 he re- 
signed upon being elected to the Legislature. In 1889-1892 
he was president of The National Farmers' Alliance and died 
11 June of the latter year and is buried in Oakwood Ceme- 
tery, Raleigh, ISF. C. 

Private W. W. Edivards, Company E, was born 22 Octo- 
ber, 1841, was in most of the battles in which the regiment 
was engaged; was wounded at Gettysburg, but returned to 
duty in time to take part in the battle of the Wilderness, May 
1864, and the almost daily engagements with the enemy on 
the retreat to Richmond. 

On one of these occasions, in front of the regiment was A 
school house occupied by the enemy's sharpshooters. It be- 
came necessary to drive them away and Colonel Lane called 
for volunteers for the dangerous work. Among those who 
responded was Private Edwards. Taking a few of his 
comrades with him, he crept up to the ho\ise and by a well 
directed fire, drove the enemy out of this house and the men 
were no more annoyed from that part of the line. After the 
war Mr. Edwards became associated in the publication of the 
Messenger at Siler City, and under the nom de plume of 
"Buck," became one of the most popular writers in the State, 


There is not a statement contained in this history that has 
not been obtained from official records, or from those who 
were actors in the events narrated. The mere recital of the 
story without embellishment is glory enough. Probably it 
will be vouchsafed to no soldiers in the future to suffer such 
a loss in open battle as the Twenty-sixth sustained at Gettys- 
burg. There is no record in the past of such sustained hero- 
ism on a field of battle. Such being the case, it was meet 
and proper that the facts should be set out in detail, that 

TwENTT-SixTH Eegiment. 423 

honor should be given where honor was due. Such heroism 
as the Confederate soldier displayed cannot be in vain. Some 
good to the world must come from such sacrifice. 

Nothing less than sublime confidence in the Justice of the 
Cause could inspire humanity to such deeds of glory, such 
endurance, such patriotism, and I close this history, paying 
this tribute to the private Confederate soldier, quoting the 
words of another : 

"Let it be remembered there are other reasons than money 
or patriotism which induce men to risk life and limb in war. 
There is the love of glory and the expectation of honorable 
recognition ; but the private in the ranks expects neither ; his 
identity is merged in that of his regiment; to him, the regi-. 
ment and its name is everything ; he does not expect to see his 
own name appear upon the page of history, and is content 
with the proper recognition of the old command in which he 
fought. But he is jealous of the record of his regiment and 
demands credit for every shot it faced and every grave it 

"The bloody laurels for which a regiment contends will al- 
ways be awarded to the one with the longest roll of honor. 
Scars are the true evidence of wounds, and regimental scars 
can be seen only in the record of the casualties." 

"The men of the Twenty-sixth Regiment would dress on 
their colors in spite of the world." 

In the preparation of this sketch, great assistance has been 
furnished by many of my surviving comrades and especially 
acknowledgment is due to Captain W. H. S. Burgwyn, Thir- 
ty-fifth North Carolina Troops, the brother of our lamented 
Colonel Harry Burgwyn. Captain Btirgwyn is the historian 
of the Thirty-fifth Regiment, in which he served with great 
honor, and also of Clingman's Brigade, in which he later 
served with distinction as a staff ofiicer. In the late Spanish 
War (1898) he showed he retained the military instincts of 
his family by again entering the service as Colonel of the Sec- 
ond North Carolina Regiment. 

Geoege C. Undeewood. 

MaKLBy'B MiLLB, N. 0., 

9 April, 1901. 


1. John R. Cooke, Colonel. 4. Jas. A. Graham, Captain, Co. G. 

2. Geo. F. Whitfield, Colonel. 5. Robert D. Patterson, 2d Lieut., Co. G. 

3. Jos. C. Webb, Lieut. -Colonel. 6. John B. Baker, Sergeant, Co. X. 

7. Jas. L. Cooley, Corporal. Co. G. 


By JAMES A. GRAHAM, Captain Company G. 

The regiment afterwards known as the Twenty-seventh 
ITorth Carolina Infantry, was first organized as the Ninth 
North Carolina Volunteers with the following companies, 
viz. : 

Company A — Orange OuardSj Orange County — Captain, 
Pride Jones. 

Company ^-—Guilford Grays, Guilford County — Captain^ 
John Sloan. 

Company C — Goldsboro Rifles, Wayne County — Captain, 
M. D. Craton. 

Company D — Goldsboro Volunteers, Wayne County — 
Captain, J. B. Whitaker. 

Company E — Wilson Light In,fantry, Wilson County — 
Captain, Jesse S. Barnes. 

Company F — Pitt Volunteers, Pitt County — Captain, G. 
B. . Singletary. 

Company G — Marlboro Guards, Pitt County — Captain, 
W. H. Morrill. 

Company H — Dixie Rifles, Wayne County — Captain, 

Comi'any I — North Carolina Guards, Lenoir County — 
Captain, G. F. Whitfield. 

Company- K — Tuckahoe Braves, Lenoir County — Captain, 
W. F. Wooten. 

The officers of this regiment were ordered to meet in ISTew 
Bern on 22 June, 1861 — I think it was — to elect field officers. 
On 9 June Companies A, B and C were taken from the regi- 
ment and other companies substituted in their places, viz. : 
Captain K. H. Drysdale's Company, from Greene County; 

426 JSTojjTH Caeolina Teoops, 1861-'65. 

Captain R. T. Barden's Company, from Wayne County, and 
Captain W. P. Ward's Company, from Jones County. On 
22 June the regiment organized by electing Captain G. B. 
Singletary, Company F, Colonel ; Captain Pride Jones, Lieu- 
tenant-Colonel ; Captain Strong, Company H, Major. Im- 
mediately after this organization. Companies D, E and H, 
and Captain Drysdale's company, volunteered for the war — 
the regiment being only twelve months volunteers^ — and were 
assigned to some of the regiments of State Troops, the Third 
and Fourth, I think. 

This left a battalion of only six companies, of which Col- 
onel G. B. Singletary was elected Lieutenant-Colonel. Soon 
afterwards, the "Perquimans Beauregards," Captain Wm. 
JSTixon, was added to it, and some time in September, 1861, 
the Orange Guards, Guilford Greys and Goldsboro Rifles 
were again assigned to this regiment, which was then called 
the Seventeenth ISTorth Carolina Volunteers, and was consti- 
tuted as foUoAvs: 

Company A — Goldshoro Rifles — Captain, M. D. Craton. 

Company B — Guilford Greys — Captain, John Sloan. 

Company C — North Carolina Guards — Captain, G. F. 

Company D — Tuckahoe Braves — Captain, W. F. Wooten. 

Company E — Marlboro Guards — Captain, Wm. H. Mor- 

Company F — Perquimans Beauregards — Captain, Wm. 

Company G — Orange Guards — Captain, Joseph C. Webb. 

Company H — Pitt Volunteers — Captain, R. W. Single- 

Company I — Captain, W. P. Ward, from Jones County. 

Company K — Captain, B. T. Barden, from Wayne 

At the organization of this regiment in September, 1861, 
Lieutenant-Colonel G. B. Singletary was elected Colonel; 
Captain John Sloan, Lieutenant-Colonel, and Lieutenant 
Thomas C. Singletary, of Company E, Major. Seven com- 
panies of the regiment were then camped at ISTew Bern, and 

Twenty-Seventh Kegiment. 427 

the other three — Companies A, B and G — ^were on detached 
service at Fort Macon, where they remained until 28 Feb- 
niary, 1862. Colonel G. B. Singletary having resigned, an 
election was ordered in December, 1861, when Lieutenant- 
Colonel John Sloan was elected Colonel; Major T. C. Sin- 
gletary, Lieutenant-Colonel, and Adjutant John A. Gilmer, 
Jr., Major. February 28, 1862, the three companies from 
Fort Macon joined the remainder of the regiment, then 
camped at lort Lane on the ISTeuse river, beloAV New Bern. 
The regiment remained in camp at this place till 14 March, 
1862, when it took part in the battle of E"ew Bern, occupying 
the extreme left of the line, with its left resting on Weuse 
river. As the fighting was principally upon the right and 
right-centre we were not much engaged, having only some 
skirmishing and sharpshooting. I deem it due to the regi- 
ment, however, to state that twenty-seven of the men who 
worked Latham's battery, which was in the middle of the 
fight and gained great credit, were from this regiment, having 
'been detailed for that service by order of Brigadier-General 
L. O'B. Branch, then commanding at ISTew Bern. These men 
were detailed by me, as Adjutant of the regiment, by order 
of General Branch, and were from Companies D, C, E, F and 
H. A certain number of men in each company had been 
ordered to be drilled in light artillery, and Lieutenant Brown, 
of the artillery, was attached to the regiment for that pur- 
pose. How well these detailed artillerists did their duty 
is evidenced by the fact that about two-thirds of them were 
either killed or woimded. Upon the retreat, we were or- 
dered to fall back to the railroad depot in New Bern. There 
we reformed, and, .after the last train had left, and when the 
enemy Avere landing in the Fair Grounds from their gun- 
boats, we continued our retreat up the railroad, being the last 
regiment to leave New Bern, so far as I saw, and reached 
Kinston late at night. Here we remained in camp until 31 
May, 1862. Lieiitenant-Colonel Thos. C. Singletary having 
resigned, Captain B. W. Singletary, of Company H, was 
elected Lieutenant-Colonel. 

At the reorganization of the regiment, 16 April, 1862, 
Major John Ti. Cooke, Chief of Artillery on General Holmes' 

428 N"oRTH Cakolina Teoops, 1861-'65. 

stafi, was elected Colonel ; E. W. Singletary, re-elected Lieu- 
tenant-Colonel, and John A. Gilmer, Jr., re-elected Major. 
About the same time, or a little before, Brigadier-General 
Eobert Kansom was assigned to duty at Kinston, and we were 
placed in his brigade. 31 May, 1862, we took the train for 
Virginia, and about noon of 1 June, reached Richmond. As 
we neared the city the guns of the battle at Seven Pines 
could be distinctly heard. Immediately on reaching the 
depot we were ordered double-quick to the battlefield, and 
passing rapidly through Richmond we pressed on towards the 
firing, anxious to take part in the fray, as the old saying is, 
"spiling for a fight." Before we reached the battlefield, how- 
ever, the battle of Seven Pines was over. 

We were assigned to J. G. Wallcer's Brigade and moved 
to Drewry's Bluff, where we remained throwing up breast- 
works, drilling, etc., until 26 June, when we took up the line 
of march for the seven days fight around Richmond. We- 
formed a part of the reserve under General Holmes and were 
not actively engaged in any of those memorable battles, 
though often near enough to the combatants to hear every 
word of command, and to feel the force of the enemy's fire. 

On Monday, during the battle at Frazier's Farm, we were 
moved to near Malvern Hill, and it was generally understood 
among us that we were to attack that stronghold. For some 
reason this was not done, and ^ve lay nearly the whole after- 
noon in a piece of woods, subjected to a very severe shell- 
ing from seven gunboats and l^hirty-four pieces of light 
artillery. As the enemy did not know our exact position, 
and had to send their shot and shell at random, our loss 
was not very heavy. About sundown a large force was 
landed from the ,gunbo?its, and as soon as it , was dark we 
were withdrawn and placed in position a few miles up the 
road. The next evening we were moved to Malvern Hill 
and placed in position in a skirt of woods just on the edge 
of the battlefield. Here we reniained until the battle was 
over. Though not actively engaged, yet we were in>a posi- 
tion equally trying, as we got the benefit of the shells of 
the enemy which passed over the heads of the troops en- 

Twenty-Seventh Kegiment. 429 

gaged, and burst among the trees under which we were lying, 
and we were expecting every mimite to be ordered forward 
to take our part in the dreadful carnage. The next night 
it being reported that the enemy were crossing the James, 
we were ordered back to our camp near Drewry's Bluff. It 
had now been raining for nearly forty-eight hours and the 
roads, cut up by the wagons and ambulances, were nearly 
impassable. Broken down as we were by continuous march- 
ing and loss of sleep, the march was a hard one. When we 
were within a mile or two of camp our Colonel — the gal- 
lant Cooke — ever mindfuUof the welfare of his men, direct- 
ing us to make our way to camp, dashed ahead and aroused 
the men who had been left there, and when we came up had 
a roaring log fire in front of almost every tent, which was 
very consoling to us, muddy, wet and tired as we were. By 
siich little acts of kindness as this, as well as by his gallantry 
and daring, it was that he endeared himself to his men and 
made them ready and willing to go wherever he would say 
Avithout a murmur or complaint. 

Kemaiuing at Drewry's Bluff till G <Tuly, 1862, we were 
then moved, with the Second Georgia Battalion of our bri- 
gade, to Petersburg, and then on the 8th to Fort Powhatan, 
on the James river below City Point. At daylight on the 
morning of 11 July, five companies of the Twenty-seventh, 
with two companies of the Georgia Battalion, and Brem's 
and French's Tjight Batteries, were placed in ambush on 
the high bltifi" on the James river, with orders to fire upon any 
boat that might pass. About 8 o'clock a. m., the "Daniel 
Webster," a river steamer, was seen approaching. As she 
passed a Federal gunboat stationed ioxir or five hundred yards 
below us, her captain inquired, "Any danger ahead?" The 
reply came from the gunboat, "No danger, go ahead." 
Hardly was this answer given when the boom of our artil- 
lery gave a different aspect to affairs. The first gun, fired 
by Colonel Cooke, disabled the bow gun of the gunboat and 
kept her from doing miich damage, as she had to turn around 
every time she fired. Four pieces of out artillery played 
upon the gunboat, and the other six, with the infantry, upon 
the steamer, riddling her cabin and hull. She, however, 

430 North Carolina Teoops, 1861-'65. 

putting on all steam made her escape, and we never knew, 
certainly, the amount of damage done or the number killed 
or wounded on the boat. Very soon the gunboats from Har- 
rison's Landing came down, and the woods were really alive 
with shot and shell for a mile along the bank of the river. 
Before they reached that point, however, we had drawn off 
our artillery, which we had put in position by hand, and 
were safe on our way to camp. The next day the other five 
companies of the Twenty-seventh and the rest of the Greorgia 
Battalion tried the same game. A day or two afterwards 
the enemy threw a force across the»river to prevent any more 
raids of this sort. 

We spent the remainder of the summer around Petersburg 
and picketing up and down the James river, and formed 
part of the support of the artillery which shelled McClellan 
out of his camp at Harrison's Landing on the night of 15 
August, 1862. Reaching this point on the evening of the 
14-th we were unable to get the artillery into position that 
night, and were compelled to keep concealed during the next 
day, as the enemy had' their balloons and other appliances 
for observing our position, in full play. On the night of the 
15 th forty-nine pieces of artillery, out of one hundred and 
fifty that we bad with us, were placed in position along the 
banks of the James river, and at 1 o'clock a. m., opened 
fire on McClellan's camp on the opposite bank of the river. 
Erom what I learned from an artillery officer engaged in this 
shelling — the infantry being held in reserve about a mile 
from the river — it looked like a grand city ; the lights of the 
shipping and the camps forming one brilliant panorama. Be- 
fore twenty shots were fired these lights had disappeared and 
"darkness reigned supreme." After firing for about an hour 
the artillery was withdrawn, and was soon rumbling past us 
on its way back to Petersburg. About daylight the last gun 
passed us, and we took up the line of march. When we had 
gone about five miles — it being then about 8 o'clock a. m. — 
the enemy fired their first gun, and in a few minutes it 
sounded as if the whole thunders of the heavens had broken 
loose at that point, but we were far out of range. We re- 
mained at Petersburg — with the exception of a few days pick- 

Twenty-Seventh Regiment. 431 

eting at "Merchant's Hope" church, where we had a slight 
skirmish with the enemy — until 26 August, 1862, when we 
moved, via Richmond to Rapidan Station, Va. 

Here we remained till 1 September, 1862, when we started 
on the first Maryland campaign — General Robert Ransom's 
Brigade having been previously assigned to our division, and 
our Brigadier, J. G. Walker, having command of the division, 
while Colonel Manning, of the Third Arkansas Regiment, 
commanded our brigade — and formed the rear guard of the 
Array of [Northern Virginia. Our provost guard, with Lieii- 
tenant Coleman, of the Thirtieth Virginia, as Provost Mar- 
shal, and Lieutenants J. A. Graham, Twenty-seventh !North 
Carolina; Lowe, Third Arkansas, and Temple, Thirteenth 
Virginia, as assistants, were charged with keeping up strag- 
glers of the whole army. Acting thus as rear guard we were 
not engaged in any of the battles of ISTorthern Virginia in 
that campaign. We crossed the Potomac at Nolan's Ferry, 
near Leesburg, Va., 8 September, 1862,, and joined the main 
army near Frederick City, Md., the next day, and were at- 
tached to liongstreet's Corps. We camped near Bucket 
Town, Md., and remained there all day of the 9th. On the 
night of 9 September, 1862, our division was sent to the 
mouth of Mouocacy river to destroy the aqueduct where the 
canal crosses. This we were unable to do for want of proper 
tools, and, from after events, it appeared that the movement 
was but a feint to draw off the attention of the enemy while 
the corps of "Stonewall" Jackson and the division of Mc- 
Laws started on their march to surroimd Harper's Ferry. 
About daylight on the morning of 10 September we were 
drawn off and placed in line of battle some four or five miles 
distant, in front and in full view of another portion of the 
Federal army posted in a strong position upon a range of 
hills, or little mountains, to the east of Bucket Town. 

Here we remained in line of battle all day. As soon as 
night came we started in the direction of Frederick City, but 
after going about two miles we countermarched and took the 
road for "Point of Rocks." Just as we were countermarching 
a squad of Federal cavalry dashed up to us and immediately 

432 jSToeth Caeolina Tboops, 1861-'65. 

wheeled and retired before we could fire. They were evi- 
dently scouting, and came upon us before they knew it. 

As the portion of our column which they struck was 
moving in the direction of Frederick City, they were no doubt 
deceived as to our movements which, I think, accounts for our 
not being pursued during the night. 

After a rapid march and very few halts we reached and 
crossed the Potomac at "Point of Rocks" just as day was 
breaking on the morning of 11 September. 

ISIo one, except our division commander, knew whither 
we were bound, and many an inquiry was made as to where 
our course would- lead. After a short halt to cook rations, 
we again started, and by inquiry of a citizen learned that 
we were on the road to Harper's Ferry, and some twenty 
miles distant from it. In reply to another inquiry, made 
an hour after, we learned that we were on the road to Lees- 
burg and a mile further from Harper's Ferry than when we 
last asked. Several times during the day our course was 
repeatedly changed and we would first approach and then 
move oft' from Harper's Ferry. 

That night we camped near Hillsboro, in Loudon County, 
Va., and next morning, the 12th, passed throtigh the village 
noted for the number of its pretty girls, if for nothing else ; 
and about 12 o'clock the division, with the exception of three 
regiments, went into camp at the foot of Loudon Heights, 
on the eastern side of the mountain. Of these three regi- 
ments the Forty-sixth North Carolina was sent to guard a 
pass around the base of the moimtain on the bank of the Po- 
tomac, and the Twenty-seventh North Carolina and Thirtieth 
Virginia began the ascent of the mountain. 

Tired as we were this ascent was very difficult, as we had 
several times to leave the road to avoid being seen by the Fed- 
eral troops in and around Harper's Ferry, and make our way 
through the thick mountain undergrowth, oftentimes having 
to clear a way with hatchets or knives. About 5 p. m., we 
took possession of Loudon Heights. McLaws' Division had 
by this time taken possession of Maryland Heights, on the 
opposite bank of the river, and "Stonewall" Jackson's Corps 
already occupied Bolivar Heights, a range of low hills run- 

Twenty-Seventh Regiment. 433 

aing from the Shenandoah to the Potomac, to the west and 
southwest of the town ; so it was completely encircled. We 
immediately endeavored to open communication with Jack- 
son and McLaws by means of our Signal Corps. Very soon we 
were answered by McLaws, but being unable to get any answer 
from Jackson a courier on horseback was dispatched to him, 
who, on returning, about 9 p. m., informed us that he was in 
position. Soon after we had gained possession of the heights 
the enemy opened fire upon us from their batteries on the 
hills beyond the town. One shell burst immediately over our 
heads, but did no damage; and another passing clear over 
the mountain fell in our division camp, some three miles dis- 
tant. About 10 o'clock p. m. we were relieved by the Forty- 
sixth and Forty-eighth North Carolina Regiments and re- 
turned to camp, taking a short cut down the side of the moun- 
tain instead of the circuitous but more even, route by which 
we ascended. 

Next day the batteries attached to our division were carried 
up by hand and placed in position upon the top of the moun- 
tain and did good work in the battle of the 15th, when the 
garrison was compelled to surrender. As soon as the surren- 
der was known we crossed the mountain and started for 
Sharpsburg, camped near Hall Town that night, and starting 
before day crossed the Potomac at Shepherdstown on the 
morning of the 16th and went into camp near where the bat- 
tle of the next day was fought. Before day on the morning 
of 17 September, 1862, we were moved and placed in line of 
battle on the extreme right of the Confederate lines, our left 
resting upon the yard of a man whose name I did not learn, 
who, to prevent our getting water, broke off his pump-handle 
and destroyed his pump, so that we were compelled to fill our 
canteens from a mud hole in his stable lot or do without 
water. Most of us filled from this mud-hole, and I can 
testify that, while not as fresh and sweet as some I have seen, 
yet in the heat and strife of that day its filth was almost for- 
gotten and it served very well to quench thirst. We re- 
mained in this position till about 8 :30 o'clock a. m., when 
we were ordered to the left centre. After double-quick- 


434 North Carolina Troops, 1861-65. 

ing one and a half or two miles we were placed in line about 
one mile to the left of the town of Sharpsburg. 

The Twenty-seventh JSTorth Carolina infantry, Colonel 
John K. Cooke, and the Third Arkansas, Captain Eeady com- 
manding, were detached from the rest of the division and 
fought as a little brigade by themselves under the command 
of Colonel Cooke of the Twenty-seventh North Carolina; 
Colquitt's Georgia Brigade being some 500 yards to our right, 
and the rest of our division about the saoue distance to our 
left. Forming in a corn field we advanced under a heavy 
fire of grape and canister at a quick step, up a little rise, and 
halted at a rail fence, our right considerably advanced. Cap- 
tain Greenough's battery, attached to General Kershaw's Bri- 
gade was placed on our left, but was soon withdrawn. After 
holding this position for half an hour or more our front was 
changed ; the left retiring about ten steps and the right thrown 
back considerably, so as to be upon a line with the other 
troops. In the meantime we had suffered heavily and, I 
think inflicted equally as much damage upon the enemy. The 
Yankees getting possession of a piece of woods upon our left, 
Companies F, K, and G, the three left companies of the 
Twenty-seventh, were directed to center their fire upon that 
point ; and right well did they do their work, as it appeared 
upon an examination of the field next day that the enemy 
were piled two or three deep in some places. About 1 o'clock 
p. m., the enemy having retired behind the hill upon which 
they were posted, and none appearing within range in our 
front. Colonel Cooke ordered us to fall back some twenty 
steps in the corn field and lie down, so as to draw them on ; he 
in the meantime, regardless of personal danger from sharp- 
shooters, remained at the fence beside a small hickory tree. 
After remaining there some twenty minutes the enemy at- 
tempted to sneak up a section of artillery to the little woods 
on our left. Colonel Cooke, watching the movement, or- 
dered the four left companies of the Twenty-seventh North 
Carolina up to the fence and directed them to fire upon this 
artillery. At the first fire, before they had gotten into 
position, nearly every horse and more than half the men fell, 
and the infantry line which had moved up to support them 

Twenty-Seventh Regiment. 435 

showed evident signs of wavering. Colonel Cooke seeing 
this, and having received orders to charge if opportunity of- 
fered, ordered a charge. Without waiting a second word of 
command both regiments leaped the fence and "went at them" 
and soon we had captured these guns and had the troops in 
front of us in full retreat. A battery posted near a little 
brick church upon a hill (the Dunkard church, so often re- 
ferred to in accounts of this battle, which was situated on the 
"Hagerstown Pike" and just to our left and front), was play- 
ing sad havoc with us, but thinking that would be taken by 
the troops upon our left, who we supposed were charging with 
us, we still pursued the flying foe'. !N"umbers of them sur- 
rendered to us and they were ordered to the rear. Two or 
three hundred took shelter behind a lot of haystacks, and fast- 
ening white handkerchiefs to their muskets and bayonets, held 
them out offering to su.rrender. We pushed on, and soon 
wheeling to the right drove down their line, giving them an 
enfilade fire, and succeeded in breaking six regiments, which 
fled in confusion. Only one Federal regiment, that I saw, 
left the field in anything like good order. After pushing on 
in this way, we found ourselves opposed by a body of the en- 
emy behind a stone wall in a com field. Stopping to con- 
tend with these we found that we were almost out of ammu- 
nition ; the cartridges which we had captured on the field, and 
of these there was a large quantity, not fitting our guns. 

Colonel Cooke, learning this fact, and seeing that we were 
not supported in our charge, ordered us to fall back to our 
original position. This, of course, was done at double-quick. 
As we returned we experienced the perfidy of those who had 
previously surrendered to us and whom we had not taken 
time to disarm. They, seeing that we were not supported, at- 
tempted to form a line in our rear and in a few minutes 
would have done so. As it was, we had to pass between two 
fires, a part of the troops having been thrown back to oppose 
our movement on their flank and these supposed prisoners 
having formed on the other side. A bloody lane indeed it 
proved to us. Many a brave man lost his life in that retreat. 
At some points the lines were not sixty yards distant on either 

436 North Carolina Troops, 1861-65. 

side of us. Arriving at our original position both regiments 
halted and were soon reformed. 

In this retreat we were very materially aided and protected 
by Cobb's Brigade, then commanded by Colonel William 
MacRae, of the Fifteenth North Carolina Eegiment. 

I deem it proper to state here that the colors of the Twenty- 
seventh Eegiment in this action were carried by William H, 
Campbell, a private of Company G, from Orange County, N. 
C, who afterwards fell at Bristoe Station, and that he was 
for the greater part of that time the foremost man in the 
line, and when ordered by Colonel Cooke to go slower, as the 
regiment could not keep up with him, replied, "Colonel, I 
can't let that Arkansas fellow get ahead of me." 

I will also state that soon after we started the charge, some 
drunken officer on horseback, (who or of what command I 
'never learned), rode in front of the Twenty-seventh North 
Carolina, then commanded by Lieutenant-Colonel E,. W. Sin- 
gletary, and pulling off and waving his hat, yelled out, "Come 
on, boys; I'm leading this charge." Lieutenant-Colonel Sin- 
gletary immediately ran up to him (the regiment being then 
at double-quick) and replied, "You are a liar, sir; we lead 
our own charges." 

As soon as the regiments could reform behind their rail 
fence, they opened fire with the few cartridges they had left 
and soon checked the advance of the enemy who did not 
come beyond the line which they had occupied in the morn-- 
ing. In a short while all our ammunition was exhausted. 
Colonel Cooke sent courier after courier for ammunition, but 
still none was sent. Four or five times during the afternoon 
General Longstreet sent couriers telling Colonel Cooke to 
hold the position at all hazards, that "it was the key to the 
whole line." Colonel Cooke's reply was always, "Tell Gen- 
eral Longstreet to send me some ammunition. I have not a 
cartridge in my command, but vrill hold my position at the 
point of the bayonet." 

The rail fence, which was our only protection, was rid- 
dled with bullets and torn with shot and shell and our men 
were falling fast, but still the Twenty-seventh North Carolina 

Twenty-Seventh Regiment. 437 

and the Third Arkansas flinched not. Imbued with the cour- 
age of their commander, they stood firm to their post. 

For about two hours and a half they held the position lit- 
erally without a cartridge. This fact is mentioned in Gen- 
eral E,. E. Lee's report of the first Maryland campaign, and 
also in Dabney's Life of "Stonewall" Jackson. In all the 
trying times of that day the Third Arkansas Regiment was 
side by side with the Twenty-seventh North Carolina, and 
yet, I never see them mentioned in accounts of the battle. 
Even Longstreet fails to mention them in a late article, in 
which he pays a great compliment to the Twenty-seventh 
North Carolina. It was a gallant regiment, commanded in 
that fight by Captain J. W. Eeady, and was with the Twenty- 
seventh in every move. Between 4 and 5 o'clock in the af- 
ternoon we were relieved (I think by the Third North Car- 
olina and a Louisiana regiment), and were moved about a 
mile to the rear to get ammunition and fresh water. After 
resting about half an hour we were marched again to the front 
and placed in position just behind and in support of the 
troops who had relieved us. Here we were subjected to a 
severe shelling, but had no chance to return the fire. The 
day had been a long one, but the evening seemed longer ; the 
sun seemed almost to go backwards, and it appeared as if 
-night would never come. As soon as it became dark we were 
moved to the left, rejoined our division, and with them biv- 
ouacked upon the battlefield. 

The regiment entered the battle with 325 officers and men 
and lost in killed and wounded 203, about 63 per cent. One 
company (G) went in 30 strong and had but five left at the 
end of the day. Another (Company E), with an average 
company and a full complement of officers, lost its Captain, 
First Lieutenant and Second Lieutenant killed, and two- 
thirds of its men killed or wounded. This regiment re- 
mained with its division on the battlefield all day of the 18th 
and retreated with the Army of Northern Virginia on the 
night of the 18th, crossing the Potomac at Shepherdstown 
about daylight on the morning of the 19th, marched from 
there to Martinsburg, Va., where it remained till the last of 
September, and then moved via Bunker Hill to Winchester. 

438 North Carolina Troops, 1861-65. 

Eemaining there till the latter part of October we then 
moved via Millwood to Paris and Upperville on the Bine 
Eidge mountains. After spending several days at these 
places, and making a raid to near Aldie and capturing a lot 
of beef cattle and flour we moved via Salem, Va., to Culpep' 
per Court House, thence to Cedar Eun and then to Madison 
Court House, Va. After leaving Madison Court House, we 
moved via Orange Court House to Fredericksburg, Va., 
reaching the latter place about the end of ISTovember, 1862. 

The march to Fredericksburg was a hard one, as in conse- 
quence of the change of position from the extreme left to the 
centre at Sharpsburg we lost our knapsacks and blankets, 
having piled them up by companies as we entered the fight 
and being unable, on acount of the change of position, to get 
them, as we intended, on 18 September, and many of our 
men, besides being short of clothing, were also barefooted. 

During the month of ISTovember, and before we reached 
Fredericksburg, our Colonel, John E. Cooke, though the 
junior Colonel of the brigade, was, for gallantry, promoted 
to Brigadier-General, and assigned to the command of our 
brigade in place of General J. G. Walker, who had been trans- 
ferred to the Trans-Mississippi Department. The brigade 
was also changed ; the regiments from other States being as- 
signed to brigades from their respective States, viz. : the 
Thirtieth Virginia to Corse's Brigade, the Third Arkansas to 
Eobertson's Texas Brigade, and the Second Georgia Battal- 
ion to Wright's Brigade. The Fift-eenth North Carolina, 
formerly belonging to Cobb's Brigade, was assigned to our 
brigade, which then comprised the Fifteenth, Twenty-sev- 
enth, Forty-sixth and Forty-eighth North Carolina Eegi- 

Upon the promotion of Colonel Cooke, Lieutenant-Colonel 
Singletary having resigned on account of wounds. Major 
John A. Gilmer, Jr., was promoted to Colonel; Captain G, 
F. Whitfield, Company C, to Lieutenant-Colonel, and Cap- 
tain Joseph C. Webb, Company G, to Major, 

We were engaged in the first battle of Fredericksburg, 
Va., 13 December, 1862, and fought behind the rock wall at 
Marye's Heights, on the telegraph road, just opposite the 

Twenty-Seventh Regiment. 439 

town. On account of the protection afforded by this wall 
our loss was slight, while the damage done the enemy in our 
front was terrible. 

There seems to be an attempt on the part of all writers to 
put Cooke's North Carolina Brigade in reserve, and not at 
the rock wall, in the battle of Fredericksburg, and even Long- 
street, who commanded that part of the line, says, in a late 
magazine article, that Cooke was in reserve. 

Yet, I know the fact to be that Cooke was wounded while 
talking to General Cobb, of Georgia, who was killed at the 
rock wall; that Colonel Saunders, Forty-sixth !N"orth Caro- 
lina, was shot in the mouth while charging down the hill to 
the ivall, and that Lieutenant S. P. Wier, Forty-sixth North 
Carolina, was killed and Colonel John A. Gilmer, Twenty- 
seventh North Carolina, was wounded at the roch wall. 

These oflGlcers were with their commands and at the rock 

January 3, 1863, we were ordered South, and after stop- 
ping for some time at Petersburg, Ya., Goldsboro, Burgaw 
and Wilmington, N. C, reached Charleston, S. C, 22 Feb- 
ruary, 1863. The next day we proceeded to Pocataligo, S. 
C, and in a few days afterwards to Coosahatchie. Here 
we remained till 26 April, 1863, when we were ordered to re- 
turn to North Carolina. After halting a few days at Wil- 
mington and Magnolia we proceeded via Goldsboro to Kin- 
ston, and formed a part of the troops that drove the Fed- 
erals back into New Bern after their attack on Ransom's 
Brigade at Gum Swamp in May, 1863. We pursued them 
within eight miles of New Bern; then, after demolishing 
some of their block houses with our artillery, returned to 
camp. About the first of June, 1863, we returned to Vir- 
ginia and expected to go on the Gettysburg campaign as a 
part of Heth's Division, but when we reached Richmond our 
brigade was, at the request of General Elzey, then command- 
ing there, stopped at that place, and Davis' Mississippi Brig- 
ade assigned to Heth's Division in our stead. 

We spent the summer of 1863 at Richmond and Freder- 
icksburg and points between those places, being moved from 

440 North Cakolina Troops, 1861-'65. 

place to place to meet and repel threatened attacks of the en- 

During this summer we assisted in repelling an attack 
made by the Federal General Getty with quite a considerable 
force at the bridge over the South Anna river on the Eich- 
mond, Fredericksburg and Potomac Railroad. 

We were also engaged in a severe skirmish near the 
"White House," when we, with Ransom's ISTorth Carolina 
Brigade, met "Beast Butler" and his command and checked 
one of their many attempts to move "on to Richmond." 

About the first of October, 1863, we moved to Gordonsville, 
Va., and on the morning of 8 October, took up the line of 
march — having been reassigned to Heth's Division — ^with the 
Army of Northern Virginia in the attempt to cut Meade's 
army off. Passing near Salem, Va., and other towns in that 
section, we reached Warren ton, Va., on the evening of 13 Oc- 
tober, 1863. Leaving this place next morning we reached a 
little place called Greenage about 10 o'clock a. m. Here we 
found the eampfires of the enemy Still burning and evident 
signs of their departure in haste. Throwing out our skir- 
mishers some 200 yards ahead we proceeded at a rapid pace, 
almost double quick, in pursuit of the foe. Guns, knap- 
sacks, blankets, etc., strewn along the road showed that the 
enemy was moving in rapid retreat, and prisoners sent in 
every few minutes confirmed our opinion that they were flee- 
ing in haste. It was almost like boys chasing a hare. Though 
the march was very rapid not a straggler left the ranks of our 
regiment, every man seeming in earnest and confident in the 
belief that we would soon overtake and capture a portion of 
the Federal army before us with their wagon train. After 
moving at this rapid rate for about three hours or more we 
were filed to the right and placed in line of battle on the right 
of the road, Kirkland's North Carolina Brigade taking posi- 
tion on the left of the road. 

Soon the comiuand 'Forward" was given. Advancing 
some 400 or 500 yards through a dense forest we halted near 
a little branch in a hollow place in some cleared ground. 
The Forty-sixth North Carolina, Colonel Hall, was on the ex- 
treme right of our brigade, the Fifteenth North Carolina, Col- 

Twenty-Seventh Regiment. 441 

onel William McRae next, the Twenty-seventh North Caroli- 
na, Colonel Gilmer, next and the Forty-eighth North Caroli- 
na, Colonel Walkup, on the left, with their left resting on the 

We could then see about two brigades of the enemy upon 
a hill a little to our left and about 600 or 800 yards in front, 
while their wagon train was rapidly moving. off. About this 
time a heavy fire was opened by the enemy, in a pine thicket 
upon our right flank. Just then a courier came from Gen- 
eral Heth to General Cooke, with orders from General A. P. 
Hill, our corps commander, to advance. At the same time a 
courier from Colonel Hall, commanding the right regiment 
of our brigade, reported that the enemy had driven in his skir- 
mishers on his right flank. 

General Cooke immediately sent to General Heth and told 
him there was a heavy force of the enemy on his right flank 
and he must have it protected before he could advance, and 
at the same time directed the courier from Colonel Hall to 
tell him to throw out two companies on the right and feel the 
force of the enemy. Very soon a courier returned from 
General Heth with orders for General Cooke to advance, and 
about the same time a courier from Colonel Hall reported 
that he had thrown out the two companies as ordered, who 
were immediately driven in, and that the enemy were in very 
heavy force on his right flank. About this time Captain John- 
son, of the Engineers, of General Lee's staff, rode up, and upon 
seeing the situation, remarked to General Cooke that he would 
go to General Hill for him. Very soon after he left, and be- 
fore he had time to reach General Hill, a courier came direct 
from General Hill to General Cooke with the order: "Gen- 
eral Cooke, General Hill says advance at once." General 
Cooke replied, "Well, I will advance, and if they flank me, I 
will face my men about and cut my way out," and immedi- 
ately gave the command "Forward !" 

Just then, our artillery, posted upon a high hill on our ex- 
treme left, opened upon the enemy in view and they fled in 
confusion. At the same time the Federals, driven up the 
railroad by Early's Corps, had arrived in our front, and they 
immediately formed line behind the railroad embankment. 

442 North Carolina Troops, 1861-65. 

We advanced at quick-step up a little hill, and, passing 
through a skirt of pines on its summit, came in full view of 
the enemy. They seemed to have formed a trap for us, their ar- 
tillery being posted on the opposite hill some twelve hundred 
yards distant, with some few troops appearing as a support 
for them, and their skirmishers being on the opposite side of 
the railroad and beyond the line of battle, which lay concealed 
behind the embankment of the railroad. When we had ad- 
vanced some fifty yards, the Twenty-seventh JSTorth Carolina, 
which had always been drilled in the quick-step, was some 
twenty yards in advance and was ordered to halt till the other 
regiments came up. Just then we perceived that the line 
of battle of the enemy was behind the railroad. As they 
fired up the hill nearly every one of their shots told. Just 
at that moment General Cooke, commanding brigade, and 
Colonel Gilmer, Twenty-seventh ISTorth Carolina, were both 
shot down, severely wounded. The command of the brigade 
then developed upon Colonel Hall, Forty-sixth JSTorth Car- 
olina, and Lieutenant-Colonel Whitfield took command of our 
regiment. We were suffering terribly, and Lieutenant-Colonel 
Whitfield seeing this, hurried down the line to meet Colonel 
Hall, who was coming up from the right, and told him that 
he would lose all his men if they remained where they were, 
and he must either move them back or make a charge. Colo- 
nel Hall replied, "I expect we had better charge." Lieuten- 
ant-Colonel Whitfield understood this as an Order, and gave 
the command for the Twenty-seventh to charge, and we were 
soon double-quicking down the hill, our men falling at al- 
most every step. The point from which we started the charge 
was distinctly marked ; at least four, and in some cases ten, 
men from each company lying dead or wounded in that line. 
The other regiments of the brigade, seeing us charging, ad- 
vanced at quick-step to our support. When we came within 
about forty yards of the railroad, the enemy arose and gave us 
a volley which cut down more than half the remainder of our 
regiment. Color-bearer Sumner, Sergeant of Company F, 
fell at this fire, but before the colors touched the ground they 
were caught by Corporal Barrett, Company E, one of the 
color-guard. Before he had gone ten steps he was shot down. 

Twenty-Seventh Regiment. 443 

As he fell, Corporal Story, Company B, and Eichards, Com- 
pany G, both also of the color-guard, caught the flag. Cor- 
poral Story carried it during the balance of the fight and, 
for his gallantry upon this occasion was afterwards appointed 
Ensign of the regiment, under act of Congress authorizing 
color-bearers of regiments to be appointed Ensigns with the 
rank of Lieutenant. After going within twenty steps of the 
enemy's line, Major Webb, who had been thrown in command 
of the regiment after the wounding of Lieutenant-Colonel 
Whitfield, seeing that we were the only regiment charging in 
our brigade, ordered us to fall back. A murderous trip in- 
deed it was up that hill, and but for the action of the Fif- 
teenth North Carolina, who, by orders of their Colonel — the 
gallant William MoRae, afterwards Brigadier-General — fell 
back by companies, pouring a continuous fire upon the enemy, 
so as to keep them down to some extent, but few of ua would 
have escaped. As it was, our loss was severe. Out of 416 
officers and men carried into the action, 290 were killed or 
wounded, leaving only 126. Of 36 officers in the fight, but 
three remained unhurt. It may be well enough to state here, 
though not exactly connected with the history of this regi- 
ment, that Cooke's Brigade lost in that battle 700 men, and 
Kirkland's Brigade 560, making 1,260 as the loss upon our 
side, while it was reported that the enemy's loss was only 35. 
The battle only lasted about forty minutes of actual fight- 
ing, and I doubt if such carnage was ever known in the same 
length of time. 

We fell back beyond the brow of the hill and immediately 
reformed. A battery of artillery, from Alabama, was or- 
dered into position at the brow of the hill in our rear after 
we began the charge ; but neither our Brigadier nor any other 
officer in command knew anything of it, and as we closed in 
to the right in falling back we saw nothing of it, and were 
very much surprised the next day to learn that one of our 
batteries had been captured. Although our whole corps was 
right at hand, not a single regiment or brigade was sent to our 
assistance, but these two North Carolina brigades were left 
to contend alone, with the whole Second Corps and one divis- 
ion of the Fifth Corps of the Federal Army. As I passed 

444 North Carolina Troops, 1861-'65. 

back, wounded, from the battlefield I met our troops along the 
road resting, while we were fighting such fearful odds. One 
incident of this fight I will mention, which shows the cool- 
ness of some men under all circumstances. We had just 
drawn new clothing — ^gray jackets and blue pants — and our 
men, anxious to keep their clothing bright and new, had most 
of them put on their old clothes during the march and had 
them on at this fight. As we were falling back up the hill, 
Private Laughinghouse, of Company E, from Pitt county, 
finding his knapsack too heavy, determined to throw it away, 
but as he did not wish to lose his new clothes — ^having his old 
ones on — he stopped, changed clothes imder this heavy fire, 
and then picking up his blanket and gun, made his way up 
the hill unhurt. Another incident worth mentioning is this : 
Sergeant Fleming, Company H, came to Major Webb the 
morning after the fight and told him that his gun had kicked 
so much the evening before that his shoulder was almost use- 
less. Major Webb, looking at him, remarked, "Why, ain't 
you shot ? There's a hole in your coat." Upon examination 
it proved that he was indeed shot through the shoulder and in 
the excitement of the fight had not noticed it at .all. 

The enemy retreated during that night and the next day we 
buried our dead upon the field. The day following, after 
sending off all oiir wounded in ambulances and wagons, we 
started back towards Pichmond and assisted in tearing up the 
railroad as far down as Rappahannock Station. Crossing 
the Rappahannock river, we went into camp and remained 
until 4 November, the enemy, having relaid the railroad 
track, advanced and we fell back to Culpepper Court House. 

A few days afterwards we retired across the Rapidan and 
picketed along that river above Rapidan Station until 28 No- 
vember, when Meade with his army, having crossed below 
the junction of the Rapidan and Rappahannock, we were, 
with the remainder of our army, moved to meet him at Mine 
run. We had quite a skirmish that evening, losing several 
men. The next day we were held in reserve and afterwards 
were moved from point to point along the line wherever 
troops seemed to be needed, until the morning of 3 December, 
when the skirmishers of our brigade were ordered to feel the 

Twenty-Seventh Regiment. 445 

enemy's position. As we advanced we found that the enemy 
had fled during the night, leaving their bivouac fires burning 
and their camping places filled with plunder which they had 
taken from houses of citizens living in the vicinity. A few 
prisoners whom we captured, told us that the retreat began 
about 2 o'clock a. m., and that then the army was far out of 
our reach and perhaps across the river. 

Returning to camp we' continued our picket duty along the 
Rapidan until 4 February, 1864, when being relieved by 
Kirkland's Brigade, we moved back to our winter quarters a 
few miles below Orange Court House. We had hardly got 
settled in them when it was reported that the enemy were ad- 
vancing, and we were on Y February ordered to return to the 
river to. resist their crossing. After spending two days and 
nights of bitter cold weather on the banks of the Rapidan, we 
returned to camp and remained unmolested, enjoying the 
first winter quarters we had seen in two years, until 1 March, 
when our rest was again broken into. The enemy having 
started some of their cavalry on a raid through Madison, 
Green and the adjoining counties, threw a large force of in- 
fantry across the river to Madison Court House as a support 
for them. 

Our corps was ordered to drive them off. Leaving camp 
about an hour or two before day on the morning of 1 March, 
we reached Madison Court House in the afternoon after a 
toilsome march over muddy roads, and found that the enemy 
had fled some two or three hours before. 

Next morning we returned to camp, and as some of our 
men were barefooted, their feet cut by the sharp edges of 
the frozen ground, left their bloody tracks along the route. 
I had read of our soldiers in the Revolutionary war leaving 
their tracks marked with blood, but had always regarded it as 
rather too highly painted a picture until I saw the same thing 
in this instance, and then I could realize it. After reaching 
camp we remained in perfect quiet until 4 May, 1864, when 
we started for the Wilderness, where